A Light at the Window – December 1997
A Light at the Window – A Welcome at the Door
The Christmas candle has always been regarded as a symbol of faith, hope and love and is an important part of Christmas. It was always placed in the window as a guiding light for the Holy Family, in commemoration of their journey to Bethlehem and a symbol of welcome, love, friendship and kindness.
One Christmas night our candle burned in the window in full view of the road. We went to bed that night and forgot to quench it. Around 3 a.m. we were roused from our sleep by loud knocking at the door. My husband jumped out of bed in a fright and called out, “Who is there?” A strange male voice replied, “Will you drive my wife to the hospital. She’s having a baby and my own car won’t start. I live up the road in a caravan. Please help us, please, please,” the stranger pleaded.
For a moment my husband paused. It was a bad night, heavy rain had caused ﬂoods and detours would have to be made. “Will I, won’t I,” he debated with himself. Then he thought about the whole meaning of Christmas, about the Holy Family and about this particular travelling family in their distress. He called out to the stranger, “Go up and stay with your wife and I’ll be up there soon.”
The man ran off up the road and my husband asked he what he should do. After a minute he said, “I’ll go. This family is in distress. Saint Joseph was in a similar situation the first Christmas night and no one gave him a welcome,” he said. So, forgetting the cold, the discomfort, the tiredness, the fear, he dressed and sped up the road in the car.
There was no time to delay, so the father, mother and two other children got into the car and my husband drove them to the hospital some sixteen miles away, and got the woman safely there.
On the way home, my husband asked the man why he had passed by houses nearer to his caravan and come to ours. “I saw the light. I saw the candle in the window,” the man said. Here was the Holy Family in the person of these travellers looking for help, for hope, for charity and the Holy candle had shown them the way.
So, who does the Christmas candle burn for today? For the members of Christ’s mystical body calling for our help – asking us to show the charity of Christ to all passers-by on the journey of life, so that we may know and believe that “As long as you did it to one of these the least of my children, you did it to me.”
Keep the Christmas candle burning in the window of your heart, not only at Christmas, but every day of the year, so show faith and love, hope and joy, encouragement and concern for all mankind.
Written by Mrs Delores Twomey
Published here 20 Feb 2023 and originally published December 1997