My four-year-old son, Alex, is
afraid of the dark. In fact,
every night he sleeps with
a flashlight in his hand—and most of the time it’s turned on.
My husband, Mark, and I have tried
to tell him there’s nothing to be afraid
of in the dark, but he says he just feels
better with his flashlight. (Apparently,
whatever’s lurking in his room is afraid
of the light.) So we don’t argue with
him. After all, who hasn’t been afraid
of the dark at one time or another?
Light of the World
In our faith, we use the symbolism of
light to offer us comfort and reassurance.
Jesus is, after all, often referred to
as the light of the world. And on the
first day of creation, God said, “Let
there be light” and saw “how good the
light was” (Genesis 1:3-4).
We continue that tradition of celebrating
the goodness of light in our
faith practices with the use of candles
for ceremonies such as Baptism or for
Advent wreaths, and in the contrast of
light and dark at the beginning of the
Holy Saturday liturgies. Remember the
song “This Little Light of Mine”? All
those uses serve to remind us that, in
times of darkness, Christ provides us
Let the Light Shine
During this fall season, as days grow
shorter, let us celebrate the many ways
that light enhances our life.
• Get up early and watch a sunrise—
or take in the sunset if you’re not a
morning person. At night, check out
the moon and stars.
• Take a nighttime hike. What
you will see at night is completely different
from what you’ll encounter during
the daytime. Identify animals that
you might see out at night that you
wouldn’t during the day, such as bats,
owls and raccoons.
• Have a homemade power outage.
Gather all of your candles and flashlights.
Or make a fire in your fireplace
or outdoor firepit, if you have one.
Pretend that there’s a power outage
and spend the evening doing activities
without turning on the lights.
Play games, talk, tell stories or just
• Make silhouettes. Sit each family
member in front of a piece of white
paper attached to a wall. Turn out the
lights. Shine a light directly on the person
and trace his or her silhouette onto
the paper. After everyone’s silhouette is
cut out, place each one on a larger piece
of black paper and add the person’s
name and the date. You might also try
making some shadow puppets on the
• Save some energy. While light is
certainly a good thing, we sometimes
take it for granted and overuse it. I’m
constantly going through our house
turning off lights that don’t need to
be on. Be conscious of how much electricity
you’re using. Consider ways
you could cut back. Instead of turning
on the lights, open up the curtains
and blinds and let the sun do the work
Next Month: Counting Our Blessings