Courage at Twilight: Putting Away the Lights

Mom announced it was time to bring in the pine wreaths and Christmas lights. Being the second week of January, I suppose she was right.  The temperature dropped quickly as the sun dipped behind the Oquirrh mountains, and I got to work.  I gently pulled the light strings off the bushes and rolled them into balls.  Dad and I had wrapped each plug in black electrical wire.  He was quite proud that the lights did not short out even once in six weeks of rain and melting snow.  Now, I unwrapped the brittle black tape and rolled the strings into balls, stowing them in the light tote, consigned to the basement until next November.  Coiling the extension cords came next.  As I worked in a race with the fading daylight and growing cold, my angers and jealousies and heartaches crowded in upon my mind, shouting their false and hostile narratives.  I did not feel strong enough to change my self-talk, and shifted tactics.  I begin to sing, standing there on the busy street corner coiling lights.  Not just any song, but a song that could chase away my dark thoughts and replace them with light and tenderness.  I sang the beloved children’s primary song, I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus.  I know only the first verse, so sang it again and again and again, shutting out the dark voices.  I was able to finish my chores and enter the house with a smile.  Here are the lyrics:

I’m trying to be like Jesus.  I’m following in his ways.

I’m trying to do as he did in all that I do and say.

At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,

But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers:

Love one another as Jesus loves you;

Try to show kindness in all that you do;

Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,

For these are the things Jesus taught.

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