Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fired Up!

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
Luke 21:29-38


  1. Fires of any sort are comforting and hypnotizing. i loved the way this flowed.

  2. What a warm post this is Martha...I can feel the warmth you spread with your words.
    Yes,there have been several times in life in life that someone has quenched the spirit within me...and I am extremely grateful for that.

  3. Beautiful descriptions in this post Martha! I almost felt like I was there :)

  4. Nice post. Yes, there have been times when someone has quenched the spirit within me...that is because they saw that I needed it.

  5. Hi, everyone, and thanks so much for your wonderful comments!
    @Jan - Thanks for you compliment! Fires ARE hypnotizing!
    @Alpana - Thank you for your warm compliment! Upon reading both Janu's and your take on "quenching the spirit", I realize our perspectives are different on this. It's a good reminder for me to word things more clearly. I DO understand where you're coming from entirely. :)
    @Jessica - Thanks! Glad you felt you were right there with me. :)
    @Janu - Thanks! What I said to Alpana is for you, too. :)
    You all are the best!
    Many blessings!

  6. Lovely, poetic, magical!
    I wonder… do you have enough wood stacked up now to keep you warm in case of another snowpocalyse?

  7. Thank goodness for that fire! I'm wishing I had a fireplace now. I can definitely work on sparking that other fire you spoke of though. :)

  8. Hello.
    Something mesmerizing about that fireplace.
    Wonderful, descriptive piece.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks also for the kind words on my recent post. I truly appreciate them.

    For ref:
    Under Your Spell

  9. I love the analogy of the fire. I can see you as a little girl staring into the warm flames, and then again reading by the fireplace, contented even though the world has gone crazy. We have a source of fire within us...always. I love this.
    Beautiful imagery!

  10. What a beautiful post, Martha. It creates a beautiful picture in my mind....And yes, as always, I love the way you connect to the reflection. How often we have been guilty of putting out another person's flame...and allowing the fire in our hearts too to die......No more, by the grace of God!

  11. Reading your posts brought back memories of my childhood when I would sit by the fire with my parents and brother and day dream. From my experiences I dont think anyone can really put out the fire in you if you are determined to keep it burning inside you. I still havent lost that spirit in me to hope and look forward to life. In that sense no matter what anyone does or tries to break me I dont think I will ever give up that spark in me. Loved this one as always Martha. xoxo

  12. Thank you, all, for stopping by and leaving such lovely comments!
    @Debra - Now, we have gas logs; not as romantic as a real wood fire, but much easier to keep clean. LOL! Thanks for the compliment!
    @Rachel - You bet! The snow was so deep, I could not have gotten out with the car to go anywhere else for warmth. And, yes! Light that fire!
    @Andy - Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Glad you liked this post!
    @Leah - Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so glad you could picture all this through my description. I'm heartened!
    @Corinne - I'm so glad you liked the post! Yes, it is all too easy (or has been) to squelch the flame in another out of anger, resentment, jealousy, but, you are right - it only serves to allow the flame within us to die, too. By God's grace, we walk in His light.
    @Rimly - Wasn't daydreaming fantastic? I'm glad your spark is strong and burning brightly and that you hold such hope for the future. I know you will take good care of it! :)

    Blessings and thanks again to all of you!


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