Tuesday, December 6, 2011
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
There is nothing quite as cozy, comforting, and inviting as a fire on the hearth on a cold and blustery winter's night.
As a child, I am fascinated by the leaping flames. I see images of people engaged in a wild, joyful, unpredictable dance. Soaring spirits, free to be.
Red and orange. Blue and green. The fire hisses. Crackles. Pops.
And, begins to die down . . .
"No more wood for now," says Dad. "It's too close to bedtime, and we don't want to leave the fire unattended."
I leave reluctantly, casting one last, lingering look over my shoulder at the glowing embers. I wish they didn't have to die . . .
Fast-forward thirty years.
It is March, 1993. A time of year when Southerners expect the first and certain signs of spring. The greening of the earth . . .
Blinded! By a blizzard of epic ferocity. Like none before or since. The southeastern states are crippled, paralyzed, buried in snow.
And, I, like millions of others, am without electricity.
For five long, weary days.
If it wasn't for my fireplace and a generous stash of wood . . .
I set up camp as close as possible to my hearth. I eat there, read there, sleep there. And, I feed the fire. Constantly. Banking it as high as I dare at night so I can revive it in the morning.
I can't let it go out. Just ten feet away from the flickering flames, the house is an icebox. I see my breath in the air. I drip water from the faucets to keep them from freezing.
The fire is my comfort, my companion. In its glow, I feel neither alone, nor lonely. It warms me both inside and out.
My spirit soars like the flames frolicking upon the logs.
A fire that cannot be quenched.
As this one will be once the electricity returns. Once its usefulness is spent. Once life slips back to normal.
Until then, I am a little girl, dreaming by the fire, entranced by the spirits, free to be.
Was there ever a time when someone, through judgment or criticism, quenched the Spirit within you?
Will you pray with me?
We thank you, Lord, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. May He ever fan the flames in our hearts with love for You. May that warmth and light reach out to others trapped in a place of cold and darkness. Amen.
Psalms 26, 28 or 36, 39
Isaiah 5:13-17, 24-25
1 Thessalonians 5:12-28