When you live an expat/non-profit/social work life like ours, you basically live off of the generosity of others.
It’s pretty humbling, but mostly pretty amazing to be a part of.
One thing that people do for us is send gifts along with others when they come to visit us. If you’re familiar with the 5 Love languages, I score about at 5,000% on the gifts portion of how I receive love (tied with acts of service, just in case you’re curious). So that really speaks to me.
One thing that we can’t really get here in BiH is scented candles. They’re starting to have them here and there…but nothing good, and certainly no Yankee, so I always ask for Walmart seasonal candles.
Many people have lavishly given to us and over the years I’ve gotten several candles. At first I horded them, only wanting to light them on certain occasions, lest they run out. But this time around I thought, you know what? These should be for me.
So, on days when I’m working at home on the computer or spending time with the Lord, I’ll light a candle. And y’all it’s stupid, but it makes me feel better. My house smells better, I’m calmer, and I feel thankful.
I noticed at some point that in my quest to record my gratitude, that more than once I had written that I was thankful for the candles, and then as I continued being grateful, I recorded thanks for the people who sent me the candles.
Then, when I lit the candles, and smiled from the simple pleasure that a good smell can bring, I began to pray for the hands who sent them.
After a while I started sending messages to those people, letting them know they were thought of and prayed for.
It was, to me, a beautiful cycle of someone moving towards me, my receiving their movement, benefiting from it, and out of appreciation and love lifting them up in prayer, and in my own way moving towards them.
So, maybe it’s a little crazy to say that if you want your friends to pray for you that you should buy them candles.
But maybe we could be conscious in how we move towards people and how we accept others’ movements towards us.
Where can you move towards someone, even if it just means buying them a candle from walmart, or sending them an e-mail saying they were prayed for?
Where can you recognize and reciprocate where someone has moved towards you?
As for me, I’ll just be sitting here finishing the day’s work, enjoying the smell of my candle and thanking God for the hands that sent it.