Blue Yodel #57 – A Single Candle

| December 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

chris_stuart_solo.2Death has crept near and far this week in unspeakable horror, to those we know and to those we hear about. Words are usually my comfort, but this past week has reminded me of the inadequacy of words to express the deepest sadness—the loss of children.

I cannot fathom that sadness and I would not pretend to offer anything in the way of a message that could begin to lighten those families’ burdens by even one tear.

And yet because of the coincidence of laying my mother to rest in the soil of her native Texas tomorrow, I am reminded of her as a school teacher, as one of the helpers over a, thankfully, long life.

I read Kathy Kallick’s sharing on Facebook this week about Mister Rogers’ message many years ago from his mother, who said that in a tragedy look for the helpers. Look for those people making things better.

For most of my life, I have not been a helper. I’ve been a taker. Now, I feel that everywhere I look, something is shouting at me to lend a hand.

A few years ago, I volunteered for a children’s literacy program called Rolling Readers. It helps underprivileged children learn to read. But for some reason I got caught up in myself and my own needs and let that slide to the point where I haven’t volunteered in about ten years. It can’t possibly be that long, but it is.

So, yesterday I contacted them and will start again in January. It’s not much—part of one or two days a week helping kids to read. It’s nothing compared to a school teacher, a principal, a policeman, fighter, EMT, but it’s a little bit.

Below is a song I wrote years ago called A Single Candle. It’s about helping. Most of you are already helpers. For you, I offer it as a tribute. For those of you, like me, who have not helped in a while, I offer it as encouragement.

 

 

A Single Candle

(Chris Stuart – Backcountry Music, BMI)

 

When darkness holds you,

And you can’t find a way,

And hopelessness seems to surround you,

Take this candle,

It will shine anywhere,

The burning flame will remind you.

 

A single candle lights the way,

Through the longest night and the darkest day,

Look in your heart and find the flame,

A single candle lights the way.

 

When bright lights blind you,

To those in despair,

And you turn your eyes from pain around you,

Light one candle and hope will be there,

The steady flame will always guide you.

 

A single candle lights the way,

Through the longest night and the darkest day,

Look in your heart and find the flame,

A single candle lights the way.

 

And though the flame grows colder,

And flickers in the wind,

If it has lit another candle,

Like the distant stars, hope will never dim.

 

A single candle lights the way,

Through the longest night and the darkest day,

Look in your heart and find the flame,

A single candle lights the way.

Chris Stuart

Chris Stuart is a writer and songwriter living in San Diego. He was the 2008 recipient of the IBMA Print Media Person of the Year award, co-writer of the 2009 IBMA Song of the Year, and past winner of the Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting contest in bluegrass and gospel categories. You can follow him on Twitter @cvstuart, on Facebook, and at www.chrisstuart.com. On Tuesdays you can find him having fish tacos at Roberto’s in Del Mar.

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Category: Opinion and commentary