One of the rituals I observe when the time changes and night closes in so very early is to light a candle each evening in the dark.
I’ve done it for years but now as I do it, I think of Dominic.
It is my small way of declaring the truth that darkness will not win.
It’s my protest against despair and hopelessness that threatens to undo me–threatens to undo ALL of us at one time or another.
Because when I sit in the circle of the glow of that single candle, I’m reminded that no matter how small the flame, darkness cannot overcome the light.
I’m reminded that I can be a light bearer or a candle snuffer.
I can help others find hope or I can douse the tiny flame that still burns in their troubled heart.
Dominic was a light bearer.
After his death, the University of Alabama newspaper, The Crimson and White ran an article that said in part:
“Dominic was always very mechanically inclined and sort of became the law school mechanic,” close friend and classmate Joe Heilman said. “We are all poor college kids, so when we had questions, we would always go to him. This year alone I think he worked on five different law students’ cars and wouldn’t let them give him any more money than what it cost to replace the part.”
Heilman said Dominic’s selflessness far surpassed that of most people.
“He was one of the most hospitable people that I had ever met,” Heilman said. “I don’t have Internet or cable at my apartment, and when he found that out, he handed me the extra key to his apartment, no questions asked, and just said, ‘Come over whenever.’”
“He was exactly the kind of friend that everyone wants to have and that everyone tries to be,” Jonathan Mayhall, another friend, said.
All my children are light bearers.
They bring light and life to everyone they meet. They encourage, help and minister to the people in their lives. They stop for strangers, buy meals for the homeless, show up when friends are moving and put people first.
I encourage you, friend, as these nights get longer and darkness seems so very present-light a candle.
Sit in the circle of its glow and think how bright that little light shines in the black around you.
And remember that we all have the power to be light bearers, no matter how dark the night.