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Candle
© December 1988, Roy Stucky

I did not choose to come here
Or to look the way I do.
The choices made before me
Set the stage for the way
I can act in the Play.

But now the curtain rises
On a show long staged.
The lights are engaged to see
What my role will leave
To the young I conceive.

Light one candle in the dark.
A spark to burn a mark
On the heart of the world that found you.
One candle in the dark.
A landmark
For the young who will seek what is True.

Shuffle and shuffle the masks you've been given
And so try to find your face.
The secret of Life is plainly written
In blood Jesus shed in our place.

Give all you can to the people you know
For those who come after the end of your show.
Live -
But not for you alone.

Light one candle in the dark.
A spark to burn a mark
On the heart of the world that found you.
One candle in the dark.
A landmark
For the young who will seek what is True.
Light one candle
In the dark.

 


"I did not choose to come here" is that your life is the result of someone else's choice.

"Or to look the way I do" is that this legacy is not something I can evade.  I can no more remove the sin from my spirit than I can add two feet to my height or abolish death.

"Set the stage" is that the world I face, for good and bad,  is the result of what choices were made before my birth.  Who does not wish our forebearers had possessed more courage and wisdom?  Does it not seem almost certain our descendants will have far more justification in this wish?

"Show long staged" is that because the world is ancient, we owe our existence to the 'actors' who've come before us. The modern selfish ideology of not owing anything to anyone is simply stupid.  Nature and society, and your very self, came to you through no merit of your own.  You 'owe' more than you can ever pay.

"What my role will leave" is that because your life came to you as a gift, you DO have a responsibility to those who come after you.  Even if you never have children of your own, your actions will influence the world encountered by future generations.  This song also ties to God Learned To Bleed.

Light one candle in the dark" is that you are unlikely to change our culture, to 'set the world on fire', but you can bring light to the place where you are standing.  And a small spark in the right environment can grow into a great fire.

"Shuffle the masks" is that the world's idea of an identity is a mere external appearance.  It also ties to Masqueman Shuffle.

"The secret of Life" is that Jesus is Lord.  It also ties to Signature.

"Give all you can to the people you know" is, again, that you are not responsible for the world.  But you are responsible for the wake you leave behind you.

"For those who come after the end of your show" is your legacy.  If there is something wrong with this world, but you do nothing to change it, those who come after you must face what you left undone.  If there is something good being lost, and I do nothing to preserve it, those who come after me may well never find it again.

As an aside, this is why the U.S. national debt is a great evil.  We live above our means today and leave those who come after us to live below their's.  We mortgage a future that does not belong to us to satisfy our greed.

 


"He left the church a changed man.  His feet carried him through a completely changed world.  Since that moment in front of the sweet saintly wooden figure, Goldmund possessed something he had not possessed before, something he had so often mocked or envied in others:  a goal!  He had a goal.  Perhaps he would reach it; perhaps his whole ragged existence would grow meaningful and worthwhile."
Hermann Hesse