Diane Faires - Sri Lanka
I’ve always enjoyed sunrise services on Easter (even though I’m NOT a morning person), but at our church here in Vaddukoddai, the children have a pre-dawn candlelight procession to the church on Easter morning, then the children lead the first part of the worship service. It’s a nice idea, but the candlelight part doesn’t always work out so smoothly…
Easter Morning Procession
The air is thick with darkness and heat
As a small hand grasps mine in a firm shake
And a chorus of “Happy Easter, Miss”
Breaks the morning stillness.
Flames spring up on white columns of wax
Dancing like the feet of the children holding them
Then quickly dissolve into darkness again
No match for the warm wind rolling off the fields.
Again, the light is passed
One by one each precious face illuminated
Shining eyes excited by the feel
Of hot wax on fingertips.
From the front of the line drifts a melody
One by one the voices join together
And bodies surge forward in two neat lines
A faithful procession, moving with unity and purpose.
The formation suddenly breaks into disappointed clusters
Singing drowned out by cries for matches
Arms clutching extinguished candles reaching out
For the few remaining points of light.
Hands now protectively shelter the tender flames
As we continue our halting march
Candles tilting towards one another
In a ceaseless quest to revive our tiny sparks.
How like those fickle flames is my heart
Wavering against the forces of this world
In my weakness, overcome again and again
Patiently rekindled by God’s Easter gift of grace.
Diane serves as a Global Mission Intern by the Common Global Ministries Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. She teaches English and participates in community-based work.