Isaiah 2:5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
Candle of Hope
By Stephanie Coyne
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! Isaiah 2:5
I distinctly remember sitting in the nurses’ station of the PICU at Scottish Rite one evening. It was late at night, and I, a young chaplain resident, was trying my best to offer comfort to the family of a child whose heartbeat was stopping over and over again. Tired and overwhelmed, I sat for a moment and just watched.
I watched the nurses and doctor work together as though they were one body with several moving parts; I watched the mother and father, huddled together in the corner, through the clear glass windows of the room; I watched gauze and other medical materials fall to the floor.
All the sounds of commotion seemed to dull—the beeping machines, the rolling wheels of chairs and equipment, the voices of all involved. Feet moved quickly and intentionally, and faces, all of our faces, were wearied from fatigue and the intense emotion of it all.
As I sat, I began to see the scene as a piece of artwork, drawn in my mind’s eye. I watched a light color appear over the doors of the room and then spread into the room and throughout the scene. The Holy Spirit, interwoven in my mind’s picture and in reality, was light in the shadows.
God’s Spirit, faithful and aware, was there for all of us. God was with us, and somehow, was reassuring everyone in the distinct ways in which we needed peace.
It was a very ordinary day, not a holiday, perhaps just a Tuesday evening. But the day, even in its being ordinary, held in itself an event that was beyond the ability of mortals to carry the weight alone. So God lent the Spirit and sent angels to help carry the loads of exhaustion and heartbreak.
Emmanuel—God with us—is always with us. Releasing shadows with light, Emmanuel is with us in the ordinary times of ordinary days, in the moments of time that pull us into darkness, and in the joy of celebration.
Boldly, fiercely, hold onto the light of the Spirit and carry it with you as you go.
I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give
light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.