Saturday, November 5, 2011

Prayer: Lamplight, Sunlight

In my little house the lamps are burning in every room. Outside the night is dark; inside it would be just as dark, were it not for these little lamps. They make me feel safe. They give me identity. They are the things I cherish, the things I can't imagine being without: my health and strength, my five senses, my mobility, my intellect, my circle of friends, the security of being accepted by my own tribe, my comfort zones of every kind.

So I live in dread of any of these lamps being extinguished. I cling to them; everything I think I am depends on them.

But then something happens. Outside a new dawn is breaking. Beyond and around and above my house, my safe little box, the sun is rising.

Its dazzling brightness draws me beyond myself, beyond my house. I walk out, in awe and wonder at this great light and warmth.

The lamps in my house are still burning, but they are barely discernible in the brightness of daybreak. I can't even remember whether I have switched them off. It doesn't matter anymore. The morning eclipses them all. And I choose to set my face toward the new day.

From Compass Points, by Margaret Silf