The light shines in the darkness this Christmas for a teenage boy who believes he has nowhere to go.

Jayce lives in one of our group homes. For days, he hedged around a question that seemed to embarrass him. Finally it came out:

Can I stay? For Christmas?

Jayce wants to stay with us, when everybody around him is leaving. Because there is no light where he comes from; there is no love for him. He has no real home to receive him.

And we answer: Of course. Of course you can stay.

Light, in Jayce’s eyes, is the kindness of adults who spend time with him and talk to him, even if they don’t always say what he wants to hear. It’s the meals he will eat. The church service. The movies – starting with Home Alone, his favorite. It’s the anticipation of racing remote-control toys in a gym with other kids who stay with us for Christmas.

The light in John the Apostle’s letter inspires a beautiful Chistmas poem by Jan Richardson, a Methodist pastor.

She writes of the blessed light –

That loves
searching out
what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten
or in peril
or in pain.

We can see the blessed light working in Jayce. In the way he’s learned to trust the good in people – and himself – and to give back the love he’s been given.

This Christmas, we pray all may be open to the light that comes, and especially so for kids like Jayce who’ve spent too much time in the darkness.

Thank you for giving these children a place to be; a place where they can lift their faces to receive the light.