#TellHisStory: When the Lights Go Out

April 9, 2013 | 22 comments

The house went dark hours ago, so we sit in the glow of candlelight, shining up faces and making shadows dance on the wall.  I tap out a few words on my iPhone because the computers are down.

Listen now: flicker of the flame on wicks, ice pelting the windows like chatter of nature.  Hear now: girls’ voices in a shadowy corner. Windows are iced over, like we’re glazed in, sealed in, behind a veil.

I haven’t heard my inner or outer life this vividly in a long time.  Haven’t heard the sounds that you can only hear in the silence. The dark can tell you secrets.  It’s a beautiful mess when the power shuts down.

Thunder cracks. Rattles the walls. I light a HOPE candle and think about how this is the way we see in the murk and muck of life.  When things go dark, we light a flame and hold up a candle so we can find our way along the path, and so we can light the path of another soul — as if to say, “maybe you can see a little bit better now, a little bit better than you could before.”

See, that’s the thing about your story. It carries light to the most sullen, desperate parts of a dark old world.  It may well be one of the most exquisite acts you perform this side of Heaven – sharing your story with your words and with your very life.  All of you , a HOPE candle for the light-starved.

Outside, lightning splits open the sky, and I can see it from inside the dark.

(Pardon the brevity.  Posting by iPhone and candlelight. And the occasional burst of lightning.)

The #TellHisStory link up is open.



by | April 9, 2013 | 22 comments


  1. Duane Scott

    I don’t know how you do it. And I’m not talking about typing on an iPhone and even managing HTML code from a tiny screen.

    I’m talking about how BEAUTIFUL this is and how I don’t know how you do it so easily.

    God given gift, oh yes. That’s it. Your writing blesses me.

    • Leah Colwell Adams

      Yes, definitely God given. I’m always blessed by Jennifer’s writing….and totally intimidated. Makes me realize how ordinary my writing is.

  2. simplystriving

    Duane said it well, so I won’t waste your iPhone battery any more…
    Just…thank you for reminding me it’s worth it…

  3. Shari @ Leaving A Legacy

    Simply beautiful. I pray that my light may shine against the darkness of this world so others can see who He really is.

  4. Jacque Watkins @ Mercy Found Me

    Oh Jennifer…I echo Duane’s words. And I’m in awe of how God has blessed you with the gift of weaving words and I’m thanking Him for you and how much of a gift your words are to my heart. Because it’s easy to doubt our story matters at all. I’m holding on to these words of yours… “It may well be one of the most exquisite acts you perform this side of Heaven – sharing your story with your words and with your very life. All of you, a HOPE candle for the light-starved.” I am longing to be a HOPE candle for Him. Thank you for being such an example to me.

  5. Jean Wise

    On my last silent retreat often I sat and just listen to the hum of the heater and the tinkling of ice in a cup – sounds often neglected but still there. Reminded me that God is always there even when I don’t hear or see Him.

  6. RinaPeru

    Beautiful words, Jennifer, as always. Isn’t that our hope and fervent prayer – to be a light unto others? Oh, that the Lord will keep our lamps burning!

  7. jerralea

    Beautiful! I love candlelight, how cozy and intimate the atmosphere becomes simply by striking a match … May you hear His still small voice in this time of silence – and may you all keep warm!

  8. Lisa notes...

    Your stories shine, Jennifer. Always. Thanks for the hope. And here’s to hoping your electricity has returned. Went for a week without it after the Alabama tornadoes in 2011. Was a most profound week!

  9. rachel

    my little one and I awakened to thunder and lightning and wind and rain. actually, I awoke, while she still slept peacefully in my arms. His voice is wild and precious.

  10. Rebekah@asoftgentlevoice

    Jennifer, you share such beautiful words and hope. The freezing rain is heading up here; it should arrive by the time I have to head into a big noisy city. I’ll be ready for silence and candlelight by the time I get back 🙂

  11. Lyli@3dLessons4Life

    My friend, like Duane, I am in awe of how you managed to do this on your phone. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

    Living here in Florida, we went through a season a few years back where we had no electricity for a couple of weeks after a hurricane blew by us…. mercifully, all the damage in our area was a lot of trees down. I look back on those 2 weeks now with a smile. It was actually a bit cool (a miracle for Florida…), so we opened our windows. We sat outside under the stars. We talked to neighbors… really talked… The dark can be a blessing sometimes. It helps you focus in on the light and see things more clearly.

  12. Michelle DeRusha

    Wow, you are dedicated, lady. I would have been like, “Power’s out – whoooot no writing!!”

  13. Alicia

    There’s something almost magical about sitting by candlelight as a storm rages outside. My kids call it “pioneering.” We get to do that about once a winter here in central Iowa- just rarely expect to “pioneer” in April as the tulips are pushing up through the dirt. Thanks for the reminder that for some crazy reason Jesus shines through us, through our flawed and feeble tales and lets us cast some light on a dark world.

  14. Dolly@Soulstops

    Jennifer, you are amazing how you point (so beautifully) to the great Hope Giver even tapping away at your iPhone…love 🙂

  15. Floyd

    Great analogy of our lives. His light in us gives us purpose and joy in the task set before us… Well done, sister.

  16. Lynn Morrissey

    Just think Jennifer…..even one miniscule pin-prick of light always dispels darkness. EVery light you shine, every word you write at your blog is illuminating some dark corner of the world, is shining brightly into some dark heart-crevice.

  17. Jillie

    “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”
    So glad you took up that iPhone of yours and let your light shine, despite the lightning, wind, and freezing rain. (The weather has been crazy here too, for the last 3 days.) My tiny corner of the globe is what our family calls ‘Blackout Central’…it seems that everytime the wind picks up, out go the lights.
    Beautiful words, Jennifer.

  18. Shelly Miller

    Late getting here and cannot believe you wrote this on your i-phone, oh my. I’m in awe. This reminds me of the hurricanes we’ve been through since living in the south. Everything goes still and quiet and we are forced to stop and listen. I actually thought it was a gift. But then again, our power wasn’t out that long. Hope its up for you now.



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