Going into the chapel early in the morning, I searched for candles to light for my morning devotion. I could see only one. I searched for another to make it two, proper for the devotion. I managed to find an old one, which looked dirty due to long period of storage. It was very dusty. I found it difficult to use the combination: one new candle and one old and dirty candle. But having no choice, I had to make use of what was available. I lighted the two and what I observed was amazing.
There was no difference between the light produced by the old and new candles. The illumination was not different from what it used to be if two new candles were used. I discovered that the light produced by the old and dirty candle was not interfered with by age or dirt. The fire of the candle burned off the dirt, allowing the wax to be available to burn for illumination.
When I observed the behaviour of the candles, I discovered something about our existence as children of God. All of us are like candlesticks before the Lord. No matter how dirty and old we think we are and no matter how dirty and old people think we are, God is seeing us differently. God knows that beneath the dirt that covers us, under the age that disfigures us, we still contain pure wax that will produce the illumination he wants to use us to produce, we still contain something new. If we make ourselves available to the flame of the Holy Spirit with which God wants to light us, the dirt will be burnt away and the wax of which we are made will produce its effect and the youth under us will be exposed as the sign of age disappears.
As I picked the candle, it felt dirty and old and I also felt it was dirty and old. Both of us were wondering whether it would do its job of illumination. However, the flame was seen differently. We as human beings are doubting ourselves and people equally doubt us as regards our worthiness. However, the Holy Spirit, like the flame that lighted the candles, is seen differently.
We don’t know our worth but God knows. We and other people may disqualify ourselves but God has not disqualified us. God is still picking and selecting us. The only thing he wants from us is availability and trust in the divine providence. Whether we think and see ourselves as too old or dirty, we are still a worthy and useful instrument in God’s hand through the action of the Holy Spirit. God’s grace is still too active in, on and through us. We only need to believe, trust, love, hope and believe.
Being dirty is a great way to know our limitations. Everyone of us has been created with that special sin that converts us from paying attention to the Lord. This is why Watchman Nee in his work, The Spiritual Man, recorded that “there is only one thing that makes the grace of God to be active in our lives, and it goes to show the supremacy of God”. Our dirtiness is not a condemnation. Which is why Jesus keep reassuring us to come to him we who are burdened and over laboured, that he may give us rest. That rest is a consolation. That rest is a reminder that he is still Our Father.
We can not produce worthiness if we keep aloof the spiritual man in us. The thought about our dirtiness is a realization that though we are filling the gap between our physical world, we can’t negate the fact that our world is corrupted by many vices, that can likely make us dirty. When we think of ourselves as dirty, something of no use, something totally needless, it is at that moment that we lose sight of God and what importance we are to the creation account. Nothing can stop us from bearing fruit, no matter how dirty we are. It is God that makes everything new and he is always ready to make an unclean person, become a chassis.