“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
Some days it is easy to be the candle – to give light. When Bea and I are reading together and she “reads” the words she knows in her books, I am encouraged to model for her a love of literature. When we are cooking together as a family or playing. Sometimes I feel like a candle with my friends – encouraging, listening, being an active participant in their lives.
Other times, I am exhausted and all I can do is reflect the light. On those days, when Frank reads with Bea, I can affirm the words with her, even though I don’t want to snuggle in. Maybe it means letting someone else in our community take on a friend’s needs; that I can be supportive without actually, physically being there.
I can get discouraged when I don’t feel like I am “the candle” all the time and this quote is a wonderful reminder to me that, even as a mirror, I am still reflecting light. Our Advent reading the other day was John 1:8, about how John was not the Light, but he was simply a witness to the Light. That being “simply a witness” is enough.