The reds, greens, and golds drew me in. My fingers dug deep, and as I pulled out each item the story of where it came from and what it meant danced through my head. The smile couldn’t be erased from my face.Near the bottom was a new advent candle setting I received for Christmas last year and, quite frankly, had forgotten about. I opened the box and brushed my fingers along the gorgeous angel base. “Prepare the Way of the Lord.”
This is nicer than anything I ever buy myself, I thought. Definitely centerpiece worthy on the dining room table.Pulling out the green gathered runner, I brought new look to the dining room table. Finished with a silver tree and the advent candles, I smiled at the picture worthy view. It looked like the put-together, pretty life that I long for.
Days passed and Ava climbed onto the dining room table. I lunged toward her. I wish I could say it was solely for her safety but the truth is I really didn’t want my pretty looking life ruined. But, before I was able to reach her, her chubby little fingers circled a candle and broke the new treasure.
Hannah looked at me with eyes of curiosity. What is mom going to do with this?Taking a deep breath, I removed my sweet, smiling toddler from the table and told Hannah it would be okay. We could get a new candle for only a few cents. But inside I was crushed that reality struck so soon.
Despite my greatest efforts my life is not flawless.
I questioned what to do with it. I didn’t want to take the entire decoration down, but I didn’t want to remove the candle and have people think I wasn’t smart enough to know how many Sundays there were in Advent. So I left it there. Broken.Each time I entered the dining area my eye caught the broken candle. I got frustrated with the kids, and I looked at it. Fear entered my heart, and I looked at it. Heartbreaking news reduced me to tears, and I looked at it. Over and over again my eyes were driven to the damaged wax.
And through my tear filled eyes, I realized that it is the perfect Advent candle and, oddly enough, the right decor. It represents life this side of glory.I am broken. Human imperfection robs me of a picture perfect life and frailty causes me to fracture. I need something bigger and stronger and far more perfect than I. I need Jesus.
Lighting the candle drives me to acknowledge me need for a Savior and the flame symbolizes true hope for me in the midst of an imperfect, messy, not always so picturesque, hurting, broken life.Baby Jesus, come.
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