New parables: Finding the light among us

There was a young couple vacationing in a remote part of Mexico when a hurricane struck. Unable to leave their modest motel room, they passed the time listening to music on their portable CD players until the batteries died. They played cards until the electricity failed.

They were left to watch through the slatted windows as the wind and rain bent the palm trees nearly horizontal. A bus passed their window, and an elderly woman in a drenched coat slowly descended the steps after it stopped. She carried a cloth bag. The couple sat still in their room, eyes tracking the woman’s slow progress to a shabby doorway nearby. When the woman opened the door, the couple saw a warm light streak onto the sidewalk and into the street.

They looked at one another, slowly understanding that the family must be burning dozens of candles inside their home. The couple looked around the dark room, eyes crossing their scuba gear, cellular phones and laptop computers, but they had packed no candles.

They returned their attention to the window, watching the nearly black sky above rain that sliced from left to right. Aknock on the door made the couple jump. The young man opened the door and saw the elderly woman from the bus peel back a plastic poncho, revealing a small white candle, already lit.

The old lady handed the candle to the man and pulled several more, unlit, from her cloth bag. She indicated that he should keep one candle, and then take the others to the other travelers also in the motel. The old woman smiled a toothless smile, ducked back under her poncho, and disappeared into the night.

The couple tucked their candle carefully into a corner of the room, lighting a second from the first, a third from the second, and then made their way to bring light to the other travelers stranded in the dark.

This article comes to you from Grace In Action (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.


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