The Christmas Light

In a dark corner of the attic she found the boxes of Christmas ornaments. It wasn’t the dust that made her eyes water; it was the memories. She brought one box at a time downstairs, not because they were heavy, but because she was reluctant to decorate at all. 

Why bother? Her daughter was no longer here to share it with her. So many of the ornaments were ones her precious girl had handpicked. Every December they’d purchase a new ornament—each one special to them both.  

As she decorated, she thought about her past year of sorrow. Barely into the New Year, her daughter felt unwell. Medical tests…then grim results. She was only 20—only two years into college and her future. 

She’d moved back home and bravely fought a losing battle. She lost weight but kept her smile. Friends visited and she'd cheer them up. She’d pat her heart and say Jesus was her companion—they’d be traveling this journey together.

Towards the end, her daughter dreamed about heaven and spoke about how all the lights seemed brighter. 

The lights may have brightened for her only child, but they dimmed forever for the lonely mom left behind.

As she opened the final box of ornaments there was a small gift-wrapped box inside. She recognized her daughter’s handwriting on the tag. How had she given her this gift?

With shaking hands she pulled the ribbon from the box and gently pulled the paper away. Opening the lid she saw a hand blown glass ornament—shaped like a candle. 

In her daughter’s handwriting, the card said, “When you shine like this candle you’ll be reflecting God’s love. Don’t hide the light—shine it so others will see."

Gently hanging the candle ornament, it seemed to glow as it reflected the colored lights. She still felt the emptiness inside, but it ached just a bit less. Her daughter wasn’t here, but the light she left behind was.

Don’t hide the light—shine it so others will see. Her mothering instincts knew where to find some hurting hearts this Christmas. So, she went to those needing some love and light. And an amazing thing happened—her light got brighter and brighter.

Nothing will bring back those we've lost, but shining our light as we think of them keeps our special memories bright.

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