Our World May Seem Dark but We’re All Holding a Candle

We either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surround us or we light a candle to see by. - Madeleine L’Engle

 {my graphics are free goodies for you}

I read these words by Madeleine L’Engle on a plane coming home from a trip to Canada to see dear friends. Before we left for the airport Mark and I watched a news ticker run across the bottom of a television screen in the lobby of our hotel. Rumors of war. Break-ins and break-ups. People shouting at each other. “Things are hard all over,” I thought.

L’Engle thought the same when she wrote A Circle of Quiet, which contains this quote, all the way back in 1972. I had to check the date because it seemed to me it could have been published yesterday. She talked of what we do now—uncertainty and division, pain and injustice. She also talked of hope and love, joy and creativity, faith and finding our way back to each other.

Sometimes when I try to sort out what’s going on in the world it feels like looking out the window of the plane where I sat with L’Engle’s words. Everything seems so far away, so untouchable, and I feel trapped and helpless.

In those moments I’m tempted to believe the worst about the future, about humanity, about my own self. But then I remember Jesus and I start to get my feet on the ground again. He lived on this spinning, mixed-up, mud-covered earth too. He showed us making a difference is possible.

All it takes, as Madeleine L’Engle said, is lighting a candle in the darkness.

We light a candle when do the small things, when we smile instead of scowl at the unreasonable individual who has too many items in her grocery cart in the express check-out lane at the grocery store.

We light a candle when we pick encouragement over gossip, even though the latter is more tempting than a chocolate chip cookie still hot from the oven.

We light a candle when we rock our babies to sleep, when we whisper a prayer, when we care for the details on the spreadsheet at work like we’re tending a rose garden.

We light a candle when we stop believing we’re always right and instead choose to be real, when we understand having a soft heart in a hard world is courage not weakness, when we stare down the darkness and say, “You’re not winning. Not here. Not today.”

Our hope is not that the world will get better. It is not even that we ourselves will get better. This world and humanity will inevitably disappoint. Our hope is that we serve a God who’s still working, whose purposes can’t be defeated by the greatest evil, who slept in a manger and walked in our shoes for a while, whose love is the flame to our candles.

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:4-5).

Hope Your Heart NeedsXOXO

Holley Gerth

p.s. I have a new devotional releasing September 18th called Hope Your Heart Needs: 52 Encouraging Reminders of How God Cares for You. I’m so excited about it! Each day talks about a different characteristic of who God is and how He loves us. Writing this book changed my life and I truly believe reading it will change yours. It’s available for preorder. And here’s a free excerpt.


You’re invited to join the “Let’s Have Coffee” link-up! Simply write a post that has the kind of encouragement you’d share with a friend over coffee (the link-up goes live at 5:30am CT every Wednesday, and you can view the Link-Up Guidelines here). Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

After you link-up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked just before yours. Thanks, friends!

Let's Have Coffee

{Want to share a word of encouragement on Twitter? Click this link and then tweet!}

[inlinkz_linkup id=793438 mode=1]

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


Never Miss a Thing

Join Holley’s mailing list to receive the latest news, blog posts, and updates

What % Introvert Are You?

 My 1-Minute Quiz Will Tell You

New Book You’ll Love!

Writing Course for You!