by | May 24, 2004 | Gifts, Marriage

I looked at my grandchildren. They ran through the house with energy fueled by the excitement of Christmas Day. It was fun to watch them open their gifts. It stirred memories of my own childhood Christmas’.

One of my grandkids received a fire truck. It had flashing lights and a real siren. I had a fire truck, when I was a kid. It didn’t have all the lights and sirens like my grandson’s, but it was fun to play with. It even had a ladder that extended to save my plastic men from ferocious fires in make-believe buildings.

There were board games: “Trouble©”, “Snakes and Ladders©”, “Monopoly©,” and “Checkers©.” Games my brothers and I would play during the long Nova Scotia winter evenings. I was given toy cars to add to my collection. One year “Hot Wheels©” were popular. The cars would race down a plastic track, spin through a loop, roll off the end of the track, and race across the floor. It was a game that soon grew boring.

There was one gift that never grew boring. It was given to me by my aunt. It was a flashlight – a simple flashlight. I was so excited, when I tore the wrapping paper away and discovered the gift underneath. It was made of shiny metal and its 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, but that flashlight stayed with me for years. In the dark of night, when I was afraid, I would turn on my light and feel comforted. If we had a power outage, my flashlight would be with me, turning darkness into day. On foggy nights, its beam would look like a spotlight, the beam visible for several hundred feet, before the fog swallowed it up. That light got me through a lot of scary childhood times.

I grew older and the light eventually broke, but I really didn’t need it anymore. I found a new light to guide me. My faith in God became my light. When all looks dark, I can turn to him. He lights the way for me. He guides me.

During one of the darkest times, when I lost my wife to illness, the darkness was deep. No shadows could be seen. No moon shined to assist me. I stumbled around blind, not knowing where to turn.

I turned to Him, and he gave me a gift. It wasn’t a Christmas gift, it was a life gift. He gave me a new light. It’s a light I can hold when times are dark and I need comfort.

The light has a name. Its name is Ginny. She’s my new wife. She’s my new light.

Michael T. Smith