A stupid candle?

‘I don’t want to sound stupid,’ says Lydia.

She has phoned in to a popular Ukraine podcast, full of heroic stories and examples of bravery.

And she’s not an expert or anything, not a journalist, not a hero…just a student in middle-England.

‘I don’t want to sound stupid,’ she says, and I do wonder what she’s going to say. Will it be embarassing? ‘But I sit with a lighted candle each day in my kitchen. I sit with the light and I think of Ukraine.’

There is a moment of silence in the studio – and then the response.

‘To know we are not alone!’ exclaims a Ukrainian. ‘That you remember us with a candle!’

He is deeply moved.

‘That’s not stupid at all,’ says another.

Lydia has touched their hearts.

So, we continue to light our candles, in the kitchen or wherever.

We pause, light, sit and watch.

And as the flame flickers, we remember. Maybe we remember Ukraine or a neighbour or someone we’ve met or Syria or even ourselves, because our own days are not always easy.

The candle invites all sorts of remembering. There’s space here.

And as we sit, the world turns more easily, made better by this pause, by this light, by this holding of people and events in the flickering silence.

And then we leave and do what we can…

though we’ve already done more than enough.


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