by Christine Sine
This morning I spilt wax from my Lenten candle all over the special altar I had so carefully put together for the season. It splattered my palm crosses, made splotches on my rock with “let love speak” written on it, and ran down the front of my plastic tablecloth. It even landed on my fingers painfully reminding me that wax is hot. Of course it also disrupted the orderly pattern of my altar and I have not been able to get it off.
This happened just as I started reflecting on my question for the week: How do we use our freedom to serve others in love? and the splattered wax provided revelation for me. Love splattered on everything I thought, adhering in the most unlikely places, creating beauty in unexpected ways, giving birth to new patterns. That is what freedom is all about.
Love is the candle of God burning in our lives and as it burns the wax melts and tends to run out of the candle and splatter over everything in its path. (unless you have one of those fake electric candles or waxless candles). Random acts of kindness, a smile and unexpected greeting from a stranger, a meal shared with new neighbours, they are all like splattered wax. They adhere to our skin and our lives in unexpected ways. They can be painful because they make us vulnerable, but they free us from the order and rigidity of a life controlled by us rather than by God.
This sharing of love, this seeking after freedom is a messy business that frustrates us and disrupts the orderly patterns of our lives. It adheres to us in ways we don’t always find comfortable. Sometimes it hurts when it lands. Like wax, once the freedom of love has stuck, it is hard to get off. It tells us we are not alone. It connects us to each other. It tells us we look out for each other, we stick to each, we are made to be together.
What Is Your Response?
Sit quietly pondering the love-light of God shining in your life. If possible light a candle and watch the wax melt. Blow the candle out and allow the wax to splatter on your desk or altar, being careful not to burn yourself. Reflect on the pattern it has created.
Ask yourself: Where has God splattered love in life bringing freedom to you and to others? What actions of mine have spread it?
Think about the messiness that the freedom of love has created, the vulnerability and sometimes hurt it resulted in. Try to scrape the wax off yourself and your desk. Contemplate the messiness that results and the challenge of removing it. Love sticks. Love does not want to be scraped off.
Ask yourself: Where has love adhered to my life in ways that have pushed me out of my comfort zones and created messiness? What has been my response?
Prayerful consider your responses to these questions. Write them down, share them with your friends. Now watch the video below – the messiness and pain of freedom that love opens us to is profoundly. Is there a further response that God is asking of you?