Candle or the Mirror?

This week, as I unpacked and cleaned and straightened, I came across a box packed with picture I want to keep close – pictures of my children as little ones, of my own school days, pictures of Christmases and birthdays and vacations. There was also a sweet little painting my niece Melanie made, framed, and gave me quite a few years ago.  It is a mama mouse caring for her baby mouse.  Very cute.  It has had a premier spot on my office cabinet shelf since the day I got it.

I took the picture out of the  box and was in the process of setting it on a shelf above my computer when a piece of paper fell out.  It was folded up small and sealed with a tiny sticker.  I opened it up and read:  “My dearest Kay Kay,  What would I be without you?…”  Melanie expressed her feelings for me, what I had meant to her, and how I had helped and encouraged her.  So much love in so tiny a note!

Melanie is all grown up now, with three married children and a grandbaby.  We live far apart and haven’t seen each other in quite a while.  But that note blessed me beyond words.

How could it be that a little folded note could stay tucked inside a simple slide-in frame for years, then one day suddenly fall out?  Here is my explanation:  That note, written with love, stayed tucked away until the moment I was meant to read it.  Until a time when I needed encouragement.  A time when I needed to know there is value in my life.  And this happened to be that time.

Thank you, Melanie, for this unexpected Christmas gift of love and encouragement.  I will pass those blessings on by writing a surprise note to someone who has blessed my life.  In fact, I will make that a new Christmas tradition!

Blessed Christmas to you, sweet niece.

And a blessed Christmas to all of you!  Won’t you help me pass it on?

There are two ways of spreading light: 

to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

~Edith Wharton~ 



About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Candle or the Mirror?

  1. B.J. Taylor says:

    Oh, Kay, what a blessing you received in that small, folded-up note. You are indeed quite special to many, many people…though I do know that sometimes we need a little burst of a surprise to let us know just how special we are. Lots of love to you and Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *