The book pens a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a framework for pondering life lessons, or songs, of grace-filled "yes" to God.

This blog continues to explore the implications of these songs in daily life. Here you will find ten additional reflections on each of Mary's "songs." May they continue to encourage your heart. ~Carla

Monday, August 31, 2009

Moon and Lamp

I chose the back bedroom because it had a desk overlooking a path filled with flowers. The other two rooms were oceanside--with breath-taking views. But my window ledge was inches from my pillow on the bottom bunkbed, and after I covered it with a bandana and set out my flashlight to read by, I was more than content with my lot.

I did not yet know about the moon, perfectly framed in that little window beside my head. In the course of the week it would complete its movement to fullness and every night I would watch its course across a clear sky. The memory is fresh and quietly precious, stored in the treasure chest from my week in Maine.

The memory of that moon surfaced in my soul this morning as I read these familiar verses: "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105) I was struck by my reflective moments of watching the moon and how it has taught generation upon generation to reflect with simplicity on the nature of God's guiding word. He has spoken, and like the quietly permanent moon, the words have the same orienting power now as when they were first spoken through the prophets.

A "lamp" is marvelous image for God's guidance, for we who often want a complete internal GPS system receive instead, a single direction at a time. A lamp's domain, like the moon, has boundaries. The angel Gabriel tells Mary nothing about her own family or fiance, only some pertinent information about Elizabeth. And to Elizabeth's house she goes.

This past week I have listened to the heartaches of those with broken and struggling relationships of every kind: in families, between friends, between souls and their God, in the churches that seek to nurture them. I am not immune from my own complicated path. And I have tried to resist the temptation of viewing God's word as a cosmic GPS. All I need, quite simply, is the next word for the next step. And I'm grateful for a moon that waxes and wanes, yet reminds me that the lamp is never snuffed out, and sometimes illumines us with a beauty so surprising that it is hidden, with the word, in our hearts forever.


  1. I too am not immune from my own complicated path.

    Thanks for the reminder and the beauty of these words.

    I think songwriter Jimmy Webb, genius in his poetry notwithstanding, got it wrong in "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress." It's like he failed to see beyond her to the one whose light she so kindly reflects.

    I remember a children's song: "My Lord knows the way though the wilderness; all I have to do is follow."


  2. Regarding your writing: "The angel Gabriel tells Mary nothing about her own family . . .only some pertinent information about Elizabeth . . .":

    I was reminded of Saul (later called Paul): what happened to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). He, too, was given only "pertinent information" or, as you wrote, "the next word for the next step." That being: "Get up [Saul] and go into the city . . . " (Acts 9:6 GNT).

    God chose not to reveal the entire game plan of Saul's future, nor Mary's, nor ours.

    And that reminds me of two quotes. First one, I believe, is by George MacDonald (who influenced the writings of C.S. Lewis):

    "It's from the very step upon which one stands that one can move to the next."

    Second and final quote is from Emily Dickinson:

    "I'll tell you how the sun rose,
    A ribbon at a time."

  3. Linda, these are magnificent quotes! You and I could have quite a conversation...we could choose a topic and only quote quotes from wonderful friends in books to each other and have a rich, marvelous time. Thank you!!