It was just yesterday that I got my hands on The Christmas Candle. Not an actual candle, but the movie from Max Lucado. I’d never heard of the movie or the book but I saw the words “Christmas” and “candle” and since I am a fan of both I was intrigued. Then I saw singing sensation Susan Boyle on the cover I was sold. I am guilty of listening to her Christmas album in the middle of the summer just because she sings those songs so beautifully.
Now if you’re wondering what the movie is about I’ll give you the gist of it. A young man travels to a small English town called Gladbury to be the new pastor of the church there. He knows nothing of the legend of the town. That every 25 years an angel visits the town’s candlemaker and touches a single candle. That candle is then given to someone in town, they are told “Light this and pray”, upon which they receive a miracle that is more than what they asked for.
Well, their new pastor is a little more than skeptical. He is a teacher of good works, preaching that miracles only happen when we ourselves make the effort to be one for another. Regardless, there were those who wanted to be the recipient of the Christmas Candle, they wanted an answered prayer and a miracle. Well on that special night when the angel came and touched the candle, the old candlemaker tripped and knocked all the candles off the rack. The one the angel touched rolled under a piece of furniture and lost its glow. The candlemaker and his wife couldn’t find it, they didn’t realise they were missing one, but they panicked anyway. They had no idea which one it was.
Eventually the candlemaker and his wife decide to just give away all the candles and let the recipients believe they have the Christmas candle. They hand out 29 candles one by one with the words “light this and pray”. Of course the recipients don’t know that they have an ordinary candle. They light their candles and pray, fully believing that they are going to get their miracle.
Quite a while later the candlemaker and his wife realise that they were a candle short. After some searching the wife finds the Christmas Candle where it had been hiding. After some deliberation the couple decides to give the candle to the new pastor. It was clear his faith in miracles was weak. However before the pastor has a chance to use it, he comes upon a young woman in his church who has just lit her Christmas Candle. The young pastor calls the candlemaker and his wife out on their actions and demands that the tradition of the Christmas candle be stopped. Suddenly the recipients of the candles began to stand up, one by one, starting with a young mute boy who could now speak. Miracles had happened anyway, despite having been given ordinary candles. The pastor is left speechless.
In the end the young pastor does end up using the candle and receiving his miracle in a beautiful scene. (I know I’ve told you a whole lot but it’s so worth seeing).
Now there’s just one thing that’s going to haunt me after watching this movie. Until I find the answer, I am going to be asking myself, if writing is truly my gift, as I believe it is, where is my gift needed most?