hoever tells you that what you really have to do is: Get up every day and light a flame and fall in love with all the same things.
Who tells you that the secret to really living is igniting and loving the same things over and over again, that the art of living is falling in love over and over again with these same people, under this same roof, serving the same plates at this same table, sweeping this same floor, pulling on shoes and going for a run day after day out this same door — only to smile up at the same trees who are thriving still in the same place.
I once walked up to the door of a grandfather refugee from Syria, who now lives under a roof in Houston, and he flung open the door of his narrow townhouse, then flung his arms wide open and bellowed, “A million, million welcomes!” I smile shy. A part of my heart falls in love with him.
He’s only been on safe soil away from the missiles exactly 6 months minus a day.
He welcomes me into their small living room and tells me that they had raised their children under a roof in Damascus, Syria, and they kept count, until they counted 57 houses bombed in their neighborhood. “It was the same, day after day — danger, barrel bombs falling from sky, driving our children right into the ground.”
His daughter stands at the table awash in later afternoon light, trimming wicks of candles one by one.
“The day the sky over our village exploded in black clouds, I called home and my daughter did not pick up the phone, nor my wife — but a soldier answers the phone in my house. And I knew. I knew.”
The white-haired father pauses — composes himself — then looks me in the eye.
“If you are actually killed — you die once. But if you actually have to live through the same nightmare, the same pain, the same misery, day after day, you die a hundred times. I am alive, but I have died a hundred thousand times.”
There are people who are living a life that feels worse than death.
After he managed a way to escape with his family out of Syria, for nearly 7 brutally long years, he lived with his wife and children in a refugee camp, before cruciform love welcomed him in to the land of the free, and now, he smiles a global mile wide and hands me an espresso coffee, a man kinda undeniably lit with love for the world that loved him back to life.
“You have come for the candles we have poured by hand?”
His daughter looks up from the table, her eyes glinting warm.
“Yes sir,” we return his smile, and wink. “We’ve come for the light we’re all going to make.”
And a new decade may be tenderly fresh while old wars and rumors of war rage on and the same trauma tears up the headlines even today: “Airstrikes kill at least 18 in Syria despite truce” — but there is a way to be light in the same world of pain.
And I bring home light poured by Syrian refugees and I start a new year, a new decade, by lighting the same candle every morning, and every morning there is this same choice: To Live the Liturgy of Light.
This can be our Sacred Every Day: to live the light of Liturgy of Light every day.
To choose every day: The same ways of lighting a candle and praying for the world every day, the same ways of lighting a candle and reading His Word every day, the same ways of lighting a candle and taking one action to bring light into the world, these same ways give us stability and giving order to a painfully disordered and chaotic world.
To light a flame of grace and choose one way, every day, to live out one same brave habit, or to be grace to one person, or to pray day for one person, one situation, this one hurting world.
Same Ways every day keep us sane.
Habits are the art of falling in love with the same things every day.
Commitments are the art of falling in love with the same people every day.
Faith is the art of falling in love every day with the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This world, this year, direly needs those who will be Grace Flames — the brave who will love the same Light of the World, who will fiercely love all people, all made in and bearing the same image of God, who will love daily rhythms of grace.
At the beginning of a fresh decade — there are these refreshing new beginnings that bring hope to all the world, and all our own small worlds:
Falling in love with all the same things over and over again is how we keep rising again.
In January’s early morning light, I light the Grace Flame candle at the window sill and watch how the flame rises brave, moved yet again by these daily rhythms of grace.
In this new decade, your home — your life — can tell a story–that’s changing the story of the world.
THE (Best!) NEW SURPRISING MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION:
Joine the Grace Flame Candle Subscription — & be a Grace Flame
Each Grace Flame soy candle is lovingly hand-poured by Muna and her mother Nadja, Syrian refugees resettled in Houston, Texas, in 2019 after fleeing war in their home country.
100% of every penny of a Grace Flame subscription gives grace to those in need.
How does Grace Flame work? Each Month:
- You receive from us a different, seasonally scented beautiful candle, hand-poured by refugees, automatically be delivered to your door.
- You’ll have the gift of a “calendar” on the back side of each month’s candle, to stroke off or track how each day of the month you were a GRACE FLAME and chose daily habits of being light, chose the same ways, chose to keep daily rhythms of grace.
- You’ll be gifted a different monthly ACTION CARD that will give you prompts and ideas to be a Grace Flame every single day of the month — and be part of being light and changing the world!
(and check out all the sales at our fair trade store: The Grace Crafted Home )