I went to my parents’ tiny Baptist church for their Christmas Eve candlelight service. It was very special… all the families gathered together, babies dressed in red velvet dresses, little ones anxious to come home and devour their presents under the tree, slightly older ones just ready to come home and devour Christmas dinner… and everybody looking forward to the climax of the service–lighting the candles and singing Silent Night.
Only at this tiny Baptist church, Silent Night wasn’t so silent.
Because I set my hair on fire.
I was being a bit mischievous. That’s what happens when you get my family together, we look for any excuse to laugh and have a good time. So of course, when I put my lit candle under my chin and made a scary face, kind of like one would do when telling a ghost story around a campfire, sister Sarah provided me with the reaction I was hoping for… a giggle. But then sister Lindsay, in a motherly way, brushed the hair back on my right side and said, “Don’t catch your hair on fire…””
And right at that moment I heard a gasp, then “BETHE!!!” and then she reached over and put the fire out that was starting on my left side. It’s amazing how fast hair can burn… one minute you’re just standing there, being silly and singing Christmas carols, and the next minute, “SPARK,” then “POOF” and a terrible stench of burned hair fills the room. Luckily she saw it as it happened, so I only lost a small amount at the bottom, and I have such long hair (and so much of it) that nobody will ever notice, except for the singed ends which I should probably trim off today.
I’m glad we were sitting on the second-to-back row and not in our normal front-row spot for all the tiny Baptist church to see. Only the rows behind us and in front of us really got to experience me adding a “spark” to Christmas… ruining silent light but taking Jesus’ command literally in Matthew 5:14 when he told us to be “the light of the world.”
Merry Christmas, and may God bless you in 2009.