Attack of the Christ Candle by Phil
Summertime is here again, that special season when I hang up my jeans, pull on my shorts and proudly display my permanently pale legs to an adoring (and often laughing) world. Go ahead and mock me, I'm used to it. I may not look cool, but I'll keep cool! The white landscape (or would that be legscape?) is interrupted here and there by a record of my history. This scar is from a boyhood bicycle tumble, that one from a late night collision with a coffee table, and the most recent red marks down by my ankles are from an unfortunate church accident. Yes, I was attacked by a Christ candle.
The showdown took place on our Christmas tour in Newton, Iowa. After the concert I was moving everything back to its proper place in the sanctuary. One of the items was a huge brass advent wreath that was almost as tall as me. It held the standard four colored candles surrounding an enormous white Christ pillar candle, plus a little greenery thrown in for good measure. As I carefully slid the stand across the stage, the towering Christ candle started to teeter. Instinctively I reached up to grab it but missed, and it plummeted to the ground. Unfortunately, my ankles were in the path and the candle took a gash out of both before rolling unharmed to the ground. I, on the other hand, did not. Oh, the high price of Christian service. I hope that's as close as I come to martyrdom.
This experience made me think of Peter's admonition to believers. "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." - 1 Peter 4:12-13. My suffering may not have compared to the persecution Peter's bunch faced, but in my book, an attack by a candle qualifies as a "fiery ordeal." (Thank the Lord it wasn't lit, I might have burned down the church!)
Now when anyone offers a clever quip about my curiously caucasian calves, I just paraphrase Galatians 6:17 - "From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus... [candle]."
Still burning for Jesus!
Phil and Pam
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