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Redwood Falls Gazette
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Day 19: From broken to beautiful
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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By simplyfaithful
March 6, 2013 11:12 a.m.

IMG_1649I had been there before to this basement studio – a small room that used to be the laundry facilities for the motherhouse. I had seen the candles made from recycled wax and listened to the story of how the money is used to support ministries of the Sisters of Mercy, ministries that reach out and touch those who need health care, those who need someone to walk with them out of poverty and distress.




But I’d never been there when I was looking around every corner for hope and scratching down my findings to prepare my heart for Easter. That lens, the hope-colored one, changed everything.




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This time I noticed the boxes of broken, burned out candles underneath the worktables. Most were dropped off outside the motherhouse for the purpose of rebirth, of blessing others, and they sat there waiting to be purified and molded.




IMG_1684Purification is a two-step process at Candle With Care. First the old candles are heated until they lose all shape and run liquid. Then, the hot wax is poured through a sieve to remove any dirt or impurities – because it’s easier in its heated state to separate the bad from the good. The wax even becomes almost transparent, the color barely there so the light shines through as it pours into the mold.




IMG_1679Most of the candles in the basement shop are made of different colors. One, with shades of purple, is for Lent. Another with browns and oranges and pale blue is just because the artist likes creating landscapes. So, each color is heated and added to the mold, never displaying its full picture, its true beauty until the end when it has cooled and released. When it has taken on the shape of the mold.




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Then, and only then, do you see how that faded orange candle becomes a sunrise against the blue sky. Then, and only then, do you see the results of hope through the trying times.

From discarded to desirable. From broken to beautiful.





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