The Light

For Christmas, one of my grandchildren received a fire truck with flashing lights and a real siren. I had a fire truck when I was a kid. It didn't have the lights and sirens like my grandson's, but it was fun to play with. The ladder extended to save my plastic men from ferocious fires in make-believe buildings.

My brothers and I received a lot of gifts. We got board games to play with during the long and dark Nova Scotia winter evenings. We had: Trouble, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, and Checkers.

I received toy cars to add to my collection. One year "Hot Wheels©" were popular. The cars raced down a plastic track, spun through a loop, rolled off the end of the track, and across the floor.

They grew boring.

One gift never failed to amuse me. My aunt gave it to me. It was a flashlight - a simple flashlight. I was excited when I tore the wrapping paper away and discovered the gift underneath. It had a shiny metal shaft and fit perfectly in my small hand. The beam of light played over the walls and ceiling. I could hardly wait for night.

Most toys break, lose their parts, or are forgotten in dark corners. The flashlight stayed with me for years. In the dark of night, when I was afraid, I'd turn it on and feel comforted.

If we lost power, my flashlight would be with me, turning darkness into day. On foggy nights, its beam was a spotlight, visible for several hundred feet, before the fog swallowed it up.

The light got me through a lot of scary childhood times.

I grew older. The light broke, but I didn't need it anymore. I found a new light to guide me. My faith in God became my light.

During one of the worse times, when I lost my wife to illness, the darkness was deep - no shadows. No moon shined to assist me. I stumbled around blind, not knowing where to turn. All was dark.

I turned to Him. He lit the way. He guided me.

He gave me a gift. It wasn't a Christmas present. It wasn't a birthday gift. It was a life gift. It was a new light. It was a light I could hold when times were dark and I needed comfort.

The light has a name. Her name is Ginny. She's my new wife. She's the light who glows with His love. Her faith leads me closer to His loving arms. She is the light guiding me toward an even brighter one.

Michael T. Smith

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