Holding in the Light

I’m thinking about what “holding in the Light” means this morning. I’m asking those who are so led to hold my godsons Shawn and Brandon in the light today. Shawn is in the hospital, and Brandon is going to have surgery today.

Asking for prayers isn’t something I usually do often or publicly, although it does seem natural to ask members of my Quaker meetings, Bear Creek and North Meadow.

I’m not saying I’m more spiritual these days, but the week I spent on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March made me more aware of the presence of the Spirit all around me, all the time. Learning from Native Americans on the March, and through books and movies some of them have recommended since, has deepened and broadened my spiritual awareness.

In addition to prayer, I had rightly understood ‘holding in the Light” to have an element of metaphysical healing and illogical near-magic of the kinds attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, and found in the mystical faith traditions of many religions including Quakerism.

Alan Schmaljohn

I am holding you in the Light. We Quakers say that when we intend to pray for someone, when we want for someone what God wants for them–peace and healing and well-being and soundness of mind and body and spirit. Though we often say it very casually, without much thought, ideally, it is more than just words.

I remember years ago reading a story of two prisoners of war who were imprisoned in a dark cell, illuminated only by a small six-inch square of window about eight feet off the ground. Each day, they would take turns lifting one another up to the window, so each could feel the light upon his face, and see the sun and the outdoors and that way keep from going mad. To say to someone “I will hold you in the Light,” is the verbal equivalent of lifting them up to God, lifting them up to the light and goodness, so they can have hope and peace.

But it is more than words. We ought never say we are holding someone in the Light unless we are willing to lift them up to the window. In the book of James, it says, “if you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat of a cup of soup–what good does that do them? God-talk without God-acts is meaningless?” James 2:15

Philip Gulley. QuakerSayings

Today, like the Warrior of the Light, I’m feeling “life carries him from unknown to unknown”.

A Warrior knows that the ends do not justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means. Life carries him from unknown to unknown. Each moment is filled with this thrilling mystery: the Warrior does not know where he came from nor where he is going. But he is not here by chance. And he is overjoyed by surprises and excited by landscapes that he has never seen before. He often feels afraid, but that is normal in a Warrior. If he thinks only of the goal, he will not be able to pay attention to the signs along the way. If he concentrates only on one question, he will miss the answers that are there beside him. That is why the Warrior submits.

Coelho, Paulo. Warrior of the Light: A Manual (p. 131). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

During the Internet search about holding in the light, I came across (and purchased) this song, that I hadn’t heard before, “Let me hold the light” by Dierks Bentley. The song is from the movie “Only the Brave” about the 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed by a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona, June 30th, 2013, 19

Let me Hold the Light

If it wasn’t known, that our love will carry on
I will be the wind that echo’s on the canyon wall
One more day with you, to walk around our neighborhood
We will never know like it was understood
We never say goodbye
Just let me hold the light
If you’ve given up, I will call an end to this
I will be your rock from our perch
If you walk the ridge, you will find the marks, the scars
Kneel down by the tree, under the city stone
We never say goodbye
Just let me hold the light
We never say goodbye
I’ll see you on this side
Or the other way
The desert sun kisses the sky
Baby hold the light
And keep it in your eyes
And promise that you dream with me
Beyond the walls of time
And when we laid aside
Just look up at the light
Just let me hold the light
Just let me hold the light

Songwriters: Dierks Bentley / Jon Randall / Joe Trapanese / Sean Carey
Hold The Light (From “Only The Brave”) lyrics © Blue Bonsai, Black Label Media Film Music, Dudetunes
This entry was posted in First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, Indigenous, Quaker, Quaker Meetings, Spiritual Warrior, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Holding in the Light

  1. winstanding@wildblue.net says:

    Good to hear from you Jeff. Last Sunday, Jackie told us of her call to your mom, and learning of your return to Indianapolis and the reasons why. Our family has had you, Shawn and Brandon in our thoughts and prayers. Interesting all that you found in your research about “holding in the Light”. We certainly hope the surgery went well (I mistakenly had in mind it was tomorrow), and look forward to a follow-up from you.

    Much love, A. Win

Leave a Reply