"It is you who light my lamp; the LORD, my God, lights up my darkness."
When I was in seminary I bought an oil lamp. It was a ceramic lamp, made by a woman who loved to dance. In fact, she called these lamps "Dancing Flame Lamps," for when lit, the flamed danced on the specifically designed mouth of the lamp. This woman held dance retreats in the mountains, and created these lamps so people could carry their lamps through the woods while moving. It's still one of my favorite objects in my prayer corner.
As I was reading Psalm 18 this morning, I thought about my lamp again. The psalmist acknowledges that God alone is the one who "lights my lamp... (and) lights up my darkness." I love the imagery! We're all lamps. Every one of us has a uniquely-shaped vessel, created by the Master Potter, created to carry light through the world. But we can't light ourselves. We're just the container. We need the LIGHT of God to come to us, then we carry it with our lives.
Too many people are living without the flame. It doesn't matter how sturdy, large, or beautiful our lamps look like... if we don't have it lit, we aren't using it the way it was intended! May I never cease to look to the source of light to light my lamp & shine in my darkness.