An insightful woman, who had lived through numerous dark nights and days, once taught me about getting through difficult times. "I appreciate your outlook on life," I commented to Mrs. Tucker. I was in my twenties and she was fifty years older. In the short time I knew her she became a significant teacher for me. I learned from her remarkable attitude and her unshakeable strength of character, both of which undoubtedly buoyed her through treacherous waters.
"Well, I have been through a lot of tough times," she told me. "In fact, sometimes it was awfully hard for me and my husband. He couldn't always find work. Some days he would come home horribly depressed and say, 'Things are so bad I don't know if I can take it.' And I would say to him, 'Well, you know, things could be worse.' And once he said, 'I've heard that so many times I think I'm gonna die!' I was hurt...but I just hated to see him so depressed. I didn't know what to say. Later he confessed that if I would have wept in despair, he wouldn't have been able to make it. He needed me during those times."
It occurs to me that HOW she responded to her husband's pain was probably not as important as the simple fact that she was there and cared. He knew he could always count on her to be a ray of light in his darkness and a strong hand to lift him when he stumbled or to soothe his hurts. He needed her...and for similar reasons, she needed him, too.
Albert Schweitzer said so well, "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." During those difficult times they rekindled one another's light.
Who rekindles your light? Who blows your light into flame when it threatens to flicker out? Sometimes this person is a relative, sometimes a teacher, or a pastor, or a close friend. I've learned that if I need the light of my spirit rekindled during a bleak time, there are a few special people who can do it.
I admire some people for their brilliance and I respect others for their strength. But I am indebted to those who can rekindle my spirit. I hope I can be such a person for others.