When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flock, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace ... to make music in the heart. - Howard Thurman, American author, civil rights leader, and theologian
I was hungry
And you formed a humanities club
And you discussed my hunger
I was in prison
And you crept off quietly
And prayed for my release
I was naked
And in your mind you debated
The morality of my appearance
I was sick
And you knelt
And thanked God for your health
I was lonely
And you left me alone to pray for me
You seemed so holy
So close to God, but
Iím still very hungry and lonely and cold
So where have your prayers gone?
What does it profit a man
To page through his Bible
When the rest of the world is
Crying for his help
THE CANDLES THAT REFUSED TO SHINE
The lights went out. I fumbled through the dark to the closet for a candle. As I started to light one, a voice said, "Hold it!" Who said that? I demanded. I did , came a soft voice. Who are you? I asked. I am a candle...please don't take me outside, it begged. But your job is to light up the darkness, I said. I need preparation, the candle explained. I must research this job of light-giving before I begin.
Okay, I sighed. I'll use another candle. Then the other candles exclaimed, we won't go either! Why not? I demanded. I am too busy, replied one. Another said I'm meditating on the importance of light. A forth said, I can't go either. I am teaching a series on the importance of providing light. A long red candle spoke. I am getting my own life together.
The last candle insisted, I'd like to help, but lighting the dark is not my gift. I am a singer. I sing to encourage other candles to burn more brightly. It then led them all in a verse of "This little light of mine".
How ironic, singing about the importance of providing light but refusing to come out of the closet!