It really all started with a desire to create something beautiful out of a junk most everyone throws away—leftover wax.
When a candle burns, some of the wax (or paraffin if I am going to be completely correct) trickles down and gets stuck to the candle holder. You knock a candle over and get paraffin onto the table and you have to spend hours scrape it off and then you throw it out, because who needs those tiny scraps? When a candle gets too small, you throw the remnants out.
I don’t. I scrap it off the table, I pick it off of the candle holders, basically, if there is paraffin wax anywhere, call me, I’ll clean it off of your furniture, and what’s more, I’ll do it for free.
Why am I so obsessed with paraffin crumbs? Because the beauty of paraffin wax is that it is never useless; just because most of the candle is gone doesn’t mean you have to throw the scraps away. It can be reused.
Making candles is one of my favorite hobbies, and I mainly do it out of old candles. You take the wax, melt it again, prepare a wick and a frame, pour the hot liquid inside, and then just wait for it to harden. Voila, a brand new candle.
The thing was, I didn’t just want plain, old boring candles, I wanted them to be scented and I told this to my friend, who suggested we go to the mall where a big supermarket for hobbyists had opened and we could find anything we wanted there. She needed to buy some things as well and we could have a fun shopping strip.
Great idea! Except the mall was five Metro stops away. To clear up, problem wasn’t because we had to go by Metro, it was my friend has an 11 month old baby, and the particular Metro stop we needed doesn’t have ramps on the staircase. (And she’s got this big, chunky buggy. It’s great for plowing through the snow…not so great for staircases with no ramps.)
There was another option, take two stops, then get out and catch a bus the rest of the way, but that would extend the journey by at least half an hour, thanks to jams, and ultimately end up being more exhausting for the baby and for us. My friend had suggested this option because a few weeks earlier while traveling by public transport she had received some unkind comments from grouchy ladies who were annoyed at the large stroller that got in their way and they decided to be mean about it. So I understood she wasn’t very thrilled about trying to drag a buggy down a rampless. I think she was afraid we would have to deal with a host of unhappy people in a hurry to get out of the Metro and exasperated at two young girls struggling with a buggy and blocking up staircase
But I have faith in humanity. I told her right out: We’re going by Metro, someone will help us, trust me, I know this for a fact.
And I was right; we had just gotten up to the stairway when a young man walked past us. He stopped suddenly, glanced at the stroller, glanced back at the stairs and then retraced his steps and asked, “do you need help carrying the stroller down?”
My friend was surprised, she really had not been expecting anyone to help us, but I was not, because like I said, I have faith in humanity, and faith is believing what you don’t see, and knowing something before it actually happens.
Random folks will toss out nasty comments when something gets in the way of a busy schedule, but there will be someone out there who will help, someone who is kind, someone who will be happy to carry that stroller down.
I have discovered recently that posts that clog up my Facebook newsfeed tend to be the type where people complain about how unkind mankind has become, how hopelessly stupid, how downright evil. Apparently, when someone crossed in front of the line, when he said a nasty remark to you, when she made a crude comment, we’ve got to tell the whole world about it and add how mean people are and how unfair it is. What is more, in light of many recent tragic events, it seems mankind has truly gone beyond hope. One can look around and see nothing but blind hatred. But wait, there is a beautiful verse in the Bible, a verse that is perhaps one of my personal favorite. …Where sin abounded, grace does abound much more. (Romans 5:20b)
In the darkest moments, when humans prove to us just how terrible they become, love shines brighter than ever. Even in the worse tragedies, people will unite together and support one another; it is a truth that has been proven time and again. owever this is also true in the mundane, commonplace, everyday life, though few seem to noticed it. I do wish people would take time to write about those things on facebook, instead of telling me how mean humans can be.
I was on the bus the other day, and an older lady tripped when trying to get on the bus and hurt her leg. Another girl and I helped her up and walked her onto the bus. A man inside the bus had already jumped up and led her to a seat. When it was her stop, a lady, who was also getting off, offered the old woman her arm, saying in a cheerful voice that she would walk her as far as the lady needed to go.
When my sister travels with her two children on public transport, people from all walks of life, from dignified gentlemen to scrappy teenagers get up and offer their seats to the children. Babies cry on the bus and fellow passengers make funny faces to cheer them up. I’ve even seen old, frail men stand up on their wobbly feet and offer their seat to a pregnant woman.
Why don’t we write about this on our statuses? Is it because we fail to notice them? It is easy to get insulted and angry when someone is mean to us, while at the same time turning a blind eye to silent acts of kindness happening behind our back.
One day I wanted to make something beautiful, so I went to the mall, on this same day, an unknown young man became something beautiful when he willingly sacrificed a minute of his time to help a stranger with a baby and a stroller. Acts such as these are easily forgotten, because unlike candles, they can’t put out on display. They happen for one moment and are forgotten, and yet such acts are what make this world beautiful; they remind us that people care, people love, people will help. They tell us that no matter how scarred and ruined our world, it is still beautiful if we take to be a little kinder, take time to be a little blinder to the faults of those around us. When we praise a little more.
Mankind can sometimes be thought of as leftover wax from a burnt up candle; the goodness is gone and only bits and pieces remain. But it isn’t gone! Collet the leftovers, melt them over the fire, and trust me the goodness will become whole again, and candle of love will burn brightly once more, and it will shine out in the darkness.
Where sin doth abound, grace abounds even more.
(picture found on freeimages.com)