Photo by David Tomaseti on Unsplash

Anything that gives light must burn.

As I was returning a stroller-full of books to my library this week, I began chatting with a stranger about the work of parenthood. He had commented on my double stroller- a contraption he hadn’t seen before- or perhaps not noticed before.

He had spent the last 10 months caring for his newborn granddaughter, and he missed her. She was now in daycare, and his days were a little more empty. Yet he was now tuned into the work of childcare, now taking notice of the brilliance of double strollers.

We chatted a bit about the high-level of care and activity children require and I mentioned how my mom often says “there is a reason people have children in their 20’s, and not their 50s!”

He responded in the most sincere and serious voice:

“We parents and grandparents are the fertilizer for the next generation. Anything that gives light must burn.”

Anything that gives light must burn.

I had expected him to agree with my small talk with a hearty agreement about how much work small children are, but instead his comment went right to my heart.

Life is sacrifice. We must burn ourselves up, give of ourselves, to share our light with our children, family, friends and community.

It was a stunning and beautiful reminder from a stranger that I needed to hear.

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