Chelle Summer

Starting Small, Building Strength

Michelle Rusk

I knew exactly what I was going to pray for Saturday at mass when I picked a candle to take to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I debated between the orange and purple, choosing the purple because I had chosen the orange on All Saints Day, just a few days before that.

What I didn’t check was the wick. It never occurred to me to check the wick, especially on Saturday when I was most concerned with my prayer. Although I keep busy with many projects, there are days when I wonder if I should be concentrating on one thing over another. And on Saturday that’s exactly what I was going to talk to my friend Guadalupe about– I wanted to make sure I was focused where I should be.

However, when I went to light the candle, I discovered there was almost no wick. That meant I had to stand there and hold the flame over it until enough wax had melted away so that the flame could catch.

In that moment, I knew I was doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. While our prayers aren’t often answered in church– instead they are answered in other times when we are going about our daily life– this was one instance where I got a clear response. Perhaps it was because I had been asking all day, thinking about how I would ask Guadalupe for help. Or perhaps it was because that was the best way to show me what I needed to know.

Sometimes the candle doesn’t light right away and on this time not only did it not light right away, it took some time for it to light. Once it did, it was a small flame, but I felt confident it would endure and burn the wax down to the bottom of the plastic jar (the purple candle on the right side of the three in the photo).

A small flame, a strong flame. The reminder that while it might not seem like things aren’t moving quickly, they are moving, they are building. They are catching fire.

Stay the course, Guadalupe seemed to tell me. Keep at it. You’re doing what you’re supposed to.

Now it’s my job to believe it and keep the flame burning.