Have you seen the movie “Tangled.” If not, I’m sure you at least know the basic story of Rapunzel. In the Disney movie, the princess Rapunzel is stolen and lives in the tower until her 18th birthday. Her parents, the king and queen, mourn the loss of their princess. Every year on her birthday they lead their kingdom in lighting lanterns to honor her. For her whole life Rapunzel actually sees these lights of hope, rising in the night sky. Little does she know that those lanterns are symbols of love and loss and hope…for her.
I cry every time I see “Tangled”. The animators did an outstanding job of capturing the king right before he goes to light the lanterns. The queen comes to him, straightens his clothing, gently cups his cheek in her hand. He tilts his head into her hand and a look of utter grief comes over his face. He sighs as a tear rolls down his face.
Their beautiful princess is gone, but the love they have for her is eternal. They hope, beyond reason, that they will find her again. And so to honor her, they gather their strength and light the lantern.
It is time again to light our lanterns.
This Sunday, December 11 is the annual Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting. To honor the children who have died, I ask that you join my family and countless others around the world in lighting a candle at 7 PM in your own time zone. For the lost princesses and princes who have left us and for the families that will grieve for the rest of their lives. Please pray for the families, especially for those whose grief is new this year and also for those who do not have a faith to fall back on. Our family lives with the hope that someday we will be reunited with our lost princess, Rebecca. But many live with the hopelessness of not knowing. I can only imagine the added pain.
God willing, our children will also see the lights but they will know what they are. They will know that they are loved and missed, but not forgotten.