Oh boy. I really backed myself into a corner in writing about the love candle. I’m no poet or songwriter. I just write little essays. And who amongst us can say, “I’m an expert in the love department!”? (I can’t.)

Muslims say God is great. A lot of spiritual people say God is within. Christians say God is love. So what does love mean, exactly? The news is full of hate. The Old Testament is full of war. Everyday life is full of mixed emotions. Where’s the love?

I think it’s in the small places.

Jesus did a monumental thing in literally dying for us, but he also showed love in small ways. He helped a lady who was about to be stoned to death. One lady. He invited himself to dinner with a despised tax collector. One man. He was always doing stuff like that. Caring about an adulteress here, an unpopular guy there. I doubt that these incidents made headlines in the local paper.

I have friends in India who help the “rat eater” caste. I know couples who quietly forgive each other, sometimes for egregious things. I’m familiar with a teacher who goes out of her way to highlight the strengths of disabled kids. These people understand love in the small places…and they change the world.

So it seems the love candle follows the trajectory of the hope, peace, and joy candles. The flame is sometimes hard to see on the surface, but it’s there nonetheless, truer than anything we can imagine. May we see it. May we be warmed by it. May it fill our hearts.

May we get a glimpse of true Christmas. Love to all, truly!

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