Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Left The Light On For You

One night, no night in particular, I decided it was time someone around here let all those drivers passing by in the night know there was life on the corner of this street. I wasn’t going to sleep on the roof of the porch below me and have a spotlight in my face, but somehow it seemed good to keep a light in the window. A candle.

A friend down the street does the same thing, but you can see his only as you are walking by, or by the occasional driver. It’s on the first floor and lower in altitude. I’m up at the top of the hill on the second floor and visible from the highly-trafficked road which passes by. It can be seen and, perhaps, recognized for what it is.

It’s life. It’s a fellow person signaling his presence. You are not alone. Candles symbolically represent life and the unseen presence of others.

So I leave the light on for them. Somebody is home, there is life here on North Franklin; it’s not just another place you pass in the darkness. Even the worst of us are still social beings and yearn for others to be around. Who can tell what value a light in the window has for those who have cut themselves off from others.

Tom Bodett, who started making the Motel 6 commercials, just offhand ad-libbed the “We’ll leave the light on for you” when he finished cutting the first one. It worked; it was the perfect ending for the spot. It was a comforting thing to remember when you were thinking of a motel late at night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting thinking about lights. If Christ left the light on for us, what and where would that light be? Certainly not the Chancery Building in Scranton! Certainly not in the person of our bishop. I wish I could say perhaps I'm one of his lights, but I doubt it. As an aside, I usually think lights in the window is an invitation to visit. So be prepared for strangers at your door.

August 27, 2009 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this also the same reason that the Amish have candles in their windows?

Let's see here, fires, as campfires create heat and light, and they are also the heart of an assemly of humans. First Nation peoples are prime examples. today folks build campfires while in campgrounds or on thebeach and I wonder how many of them actually where it comes from, the tradition.


August 27, 2009 6:32 PM  

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