Howard Thurman: I Will Light Candles this Christmas

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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I Will Light Candles this Christmas
—by Howard Thurman

I will light Candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.


Howard Thurman (1899-1981), author, theologian, philosopher, educator, and civil rights leader. In 1944, he helped found the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, one of the first racially integrated churches. He played an active role in many social justice movements. As a theologian and advocate of radical nonviolence, he was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others in the Civil Rights Movements.

In the spirit of his Christmas poem: May the work of the holiday season continue in our hearts and minds throughout the year.

Books by Howard Thurman:

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