Sanctuary Moments: Focus on the Flame

When we travel, Richard and I are drawn to places of worship where we spend moments that matter. Often, I write about these experiences and will have several to share from our recent trip to Eastern Europe. 

St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest, Hungary. Group Tour. May 2013CIMG3570

Before we leave, we light two candles. Richard asks me if it for my Littleton mom (as I visited her before leaving and she is not well). “No,” I say “actually our Stephen came to mind; so I’ve lit a candle for him, but I’ll pray for mom too.”

We’re at the back of the Sanctuary in the vestry. I try to focus inward and seek God, try to sense a spiritual presence. It is hard, there are so many distractions. The presence of people, their voices create a mix of hum, clanking, plodding and gibberish. I just wish my ears closed to external noise and try to silence the voices in my head.

Focus on the flame. At first I think our candles are going to go out, extinguish before ever sparking to life. They started with a minute flare, but as we set them down, they diminish almost to just a glowing ember with the light barely visible, but then it is as if the flame grounds itself and decides to be a diminutive blaze, something in the wick wills it to burn. Our flame then grows equal to the others.

I ponder our flames, the people we love, and spiritual well-being. The flames flicker, grow, lessen, spurt; some stand stock-still and others lean in diverse directions as if blown by individual puffs of air even though they are side-by-side in a confined area.

CIMG3569Then out of the corner of my eye I see a wisp of smoke and I know that someone’s prayer is floating upward as the flame of the candle burns no more.

We take one another’s hand and turn to go back into the world outside.


About richardandlisa

Richard is the photographer, typically. Lisa is the writer, typically. We've both been know to that allowed?
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