Celebrating the Light & Highlights

Our three-generational, multi-ethnic family had managed to light all the Advent candles at the late afternoon Christmas Eve service without setting fire to the church. I could sit back and relax. Then midway through the service the children in the audience were invited up to sing Come All Ye Faithful with all the costumed angels, shepherds, sheep, wise men, holy family and, of course, a donkey. Our newest grandson, Ian, a five year old Chinese boy, enjoying his first Christmas after being abandoned on Christmas Day five years ago, has become amazingly fluent in English within ten months while undergoing cleft palate surgery during that same period.  Although his speech isn’t crystal clear, out-going Ian loves to talk! And he loves microphones.

The first thing Ian did when he went forward was tap his finger on a low platform mike to see if it was live. It wasn’t.  Then he positioned himself in the center of the stage with a delighted smile on this face, a hand in his pocket, and the other hand directing the audience as all the children sang. But then he slowly inched his way back to the microphone. Those of us in the family could see the wheels turning. He was clearly planning on using the mike. Fortunately, his grampa had quietly moved forward to a chair in the front row and was crouched in fine athletic form to whisk Ian back to his seat if necessary (see the white haired gentleman at center left in the photo). Ian had that faraway dreamy look. The wheels continued to turn. Slowly he rose on his tiptoes leaning into the microphone. Melinda, the children’s pageant director, thought Ian was about to begin preaching. His pastor daddy thought that was a distinct possibility. The family held its breath. The congregation waited. In a loud voice, Ian suddenly blurted out, “Grampa.” The congregation laughed; we laughed with delight and relief. And the children all continued singing without missing a beat.  Ian was simply acknowledging someone who loved him and been the Light to him; one more person who had brought light into the darkness of his little world.

Who brought light into the darkness for you? Who has shown you the Light this holiday season? What have been your highlights spotlighting the Light?

Happy New Year to you all!

8 comments to Celebrating the Light & Highlights

  • Hey Lynne,
    Great story. Great memory. Light this year was brought through a 12 year old girl in our congregation who has had brain surgery a week before Christmas to remove a tumor which was causing seizures. On Christmas Eve she had another seizure and then another on Christmas morning. This was “light” clouded in darkness. Fear and disappointment set in that night. The next day received a text from her mom who was totally bummed but finding great joy in having both her kids at home. She found joy in the midst of fear. I found light at the end of her text.


    Beautiful, Lynne. Kids are so amazing!

  • Deanna J Bowling

    My light came from the fact that in spite of all of the issues that came up that could have canceled the serving of Communion during our 11:00 Christmas Eve Service, the Holy Spirit prevailed, and the people received the meal.

  • cynthia thomas

    my light this holiday season is that i’m (living) exactly where i’m suupposed to be. acceptance is a huge issue for me. yet i’m accepting where i am & counting my blessings. cynthia

  • Trudi Carter

    A lovely memory Lynne that I know you will probably capture in one of your stories. It reminded me of childhood where the fear of being in front of many people was always moderated by two things, being surrounded by other people and by looking into the faces of people who loved you. I can remember my mother’s smiling face on so many occasions looking back at me and the encouragement it sent. I sometime forget that one can often bring light by just being present. Trudi

  • Deanna J Bowling

    I’m sorry I missed seeing Ian saying Grampa into the microphone. I did though stop by and saw you and your family lighting the advent candles. Thank you for developing this blog, Lynne. I am always both delighted and challenged by your pieces. Your are so amazingly gifted, and such a treasure to know.

    Happy New Years to you and the whole family.
    Love, hugs and prayers,


  • lynne, you light up my life

  • Betty Fitz

    Having had one illness after another since Sept., I truly missed the fellowship of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior with my friends and family at church this season. Having been in what I consider to be one of the greatest Bible Studies of my life, the enemy relentless patrolled me, attacking me with severe illnesses which kept me from the priveledge of celebrating the birth of our Lord with all of you.
    How precious it was for me to hear your story as you brought the innocence of children at Christmastime, the joy of being at the manger and peering in once again to the wonderfulness of Christ’s love. Your story was the next best thing to having been there and how I can picture the whole thing going down – and how it could have gone down 🙂 .
    Thank you for putting a smile on my face again and giving me a precious part of the Christmas I missed! If I could lean into the mic, I would say, “Friend”, in recognition of the love you show so many of us in sharing your wonderful stories. ~ Blessings, Betty Fitz

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