I finished up my work day about a half-hour ago, and now I am here in a quiet house on a rainy night. For tonight, this feels lovely. The gloaming light makes everything outside my window visible yet mysterious with shadows. The candles flickering downstairs give everything a sort of mystical glow. The dishwasher is working for me, and my hands smell like the Palmolive I used to scrub the pots from the baked spaghetti I made ( a giant tub of ricotta, a massive pile of Parmesan, and a whole, fresh ball of mozzarella – yum!).

I spent a few minutes playing piano – poorly, I’m afraid – while I waited for the water to boil. Debussy can quiet my soul so quickly. The cats are still groggy with the day’s sleep. Kathy isn’t home yet, and I am feeling very peaceful.

I wonder what it is about these evening times, before night really sets in, that brings me such a deep sense of comfort. I imagine it’s partially a lingering memory of childhood when my family sat down almost every night for dinner together. There was solidity and camaraderie in those dinners. There was comfort there, every night, without fail, mother, father, brother and me.

There’s also something about seeing another day to its close, a day where jobs were well-done, where tasks were finished, where the ending of the natural light signals (if I let it) a change in mood and time.

When I was a kid, I used to love this Amy Grant song called “Doubly Good to You.” It says, “If you look in the mirror at the end of a hard day and you know in your heart you have not lied. If you gave love freely, if you earned an honest wage, and if you’ve got Jesus by your side, you can thank the Father for the things that He has done and thank Him for the things He’s yet to do.” On nights like this, on evenings that come after hard days, I do thank the Lord; God has been doubly good to me.

Evening Candles