Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tending the Fire

It couldn't have been more perfectly planned. It was an unusually cool evening for July - the kids were with their dad and I was likely not working the next day. The breeze had died down, and I had the longing for a campfire on my heart!

I love a fire - I like to watch the flames dance. I love the smell that lingers on my clothes and my hair. I love the warmth on my face - especially when the night is cool on my back.

I gathered my ipod (and speakers), a glass of water, a box of matches and the quilt my great-aunt made me when I was a kid, and headed out to my backyard into the sitting area I had created. There, in the middle, sat a fire bowl - and a woodpile!

It was time for some one-on-one time with God. I had had a few bits and pieces this past week, but none where I didn't have to be back "on duty" as mom within an hour or two. This was a whatever-goes time. I show up, He shows up. End of agenda.

With the fire lit, I began my favorite fire-pastime: tending it. I sat for a long time, mindlessly snapping the twigs and branches and adding them to the flame. I'd watch them ebb and flow depending on the size, placement and timing of the sticks added.

My ipod played worship tunes with the crickets singing in the background. Some I sang, some I signed a phrase or two between sticks, and others I wiped tears.

I thought of how similar relationships are to the fire in front of me. They need tending. The consistency of the flame depends on the consistency and the quality of that being added. Sure I could let it die down a bit, and build it back up - but it took more work on my part than if I had just continued to nurture it.

I am grateful for the opportunity to take some time with God - to just be. To enjoy the night, the flames, the embers. Crickets. Stars. The vastness of the night sky.... and in the midst of it all: God-and-me.

Thank You, God for meeting me...

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