the first fire of the season. the fireplace is cleaned and wood carried in. papers are crumpled and pressed into the spaces between the logs and kindling. the match is pressed against the the box that says “strike anywhere on box” but really only works on the side with that certain texture. you know what i mean. and as the match slides along it, it bursts into flame and then develops the capacity to pass that flame along.
our living room is warmed again. sometimes too warm, but is such a welcome feeling on a north iowa night like this. wind howling around the eaves and corners of the house. through the barren tree branches. the flames dance and laugh at the cold outside.
you see, i believe it when i hear it said that we all have a gift. some seem to have more than others. but we all have at least one that has the potential to shine. to burn brightly. the scriptures encourage us to “stir into flame the gift that is within you.” pile up the logs. place them so there is enough distance between them so that air can pass through and keep the flames going. burning brightly. let yourself be consumed in purpose. you have a gift. gifts. let them come to light. let them come alive.
what does that mean to you right now? are you a barely glowing ember? buried in the ashes of yesterday’s fire? is there something there yet to burn brightly? “stir into flame the gift of God that is within you.” invite someone you know or trust to help stir it as well. open yourself up to the spirit of the living God. and as things burst into flame, offer some warmth to your world. some light. some hope.