baby, are we ever on fire

20 Nov

So, today, our group celebrated our second Thanksgiving together. Eats-wise, I particularly enjoyed the turkey that Ed smoked (if you can roll it, you can smoke it), the sweet potatoes made by someone wonderful but I don’t know who, and the sopapilla cheesecake that Tracy stole from heaven and delivered unto us. BANGERANG.

Food-wise, I got a cramazing peek at how it seems Christ views our group.

You see, we heard from Milt today about a group of Christians who are “on fire for Christ.” The second I heard that, a pang of jealousy flashed through my heart. “On fire.” Are we on fire? Are we passionate enough that someone might look at us and say, “Those people are on fire for Christ?”

I honestly don’t think so.

It’s not a competition. And yet, I felt jealous. And then I felt sad, because the weight of comparison suddenly sat heavy on my shoulders.

Later, Tim repeated what Milt had said. “On fire for Christ.” And I admitted openly to everyone: “I feel jealous of that.”

And the moment the words were out of my mouth, a little voice spoke up inside my heart and whispered, You don’t have to.

And I smiled. Because I understood.

I don’t have to be jealous of “on fire for Christ.” For one thing, passion for Christ is not, never has been, and never will be a competition. The weight of comparison is not a burden I am subject to. Christ never looks at his bride and says, “This part is lovelier than this other part.”

To put it bluntly, Christ never says, “Baby, I love your face, but your butt looks a little flabby. How ’bout I buy you a gym membership?”

But before I get too far into the beautiful bride picture, here’s the main thought about the fire metaphor:

In our group, I see a passion for Christ that is a firepit of smouldering coals. You might see an occasional tongue of flame, but there is no raging fire here. Sometimes, the coals glow — especially if you poke them.

Ah, yes, do you see what this collection of hot coals might become? Do you see the potential here, the quiet undercurrent of energy?

If you get close, it will be hot to the touch.

A house fire might rage all day — but once the firefighters put it out, everyone still has to wait before they can go sift through the rubble. The coals are too hot. Any breath of air might set them aflame again. The heat of coals is not something to take lightly.

Even campfire coals harbor a vast store of amazing energy. The great thing about smouldering coals is that you can bury them — and once they’re in the ground, you can stretch out your sleeping bag over them. They’ll keep you warm all night long: all that stored-up, buried heat, warming you from underneath. In the morning, you dig the coals up and blow on them, and pretty soon you’ll have a fire that can cook you breakfast. In the evening, you bury your coals again, because you need their underground heat to ward off the cold of night.

We are seasonal. We wax, we wane. We grow in the warmth of the sun. We sleep in the cold of the night.

And while we sleep — or even while we lie awake and marvel at the starry glitter our Father has spread across the universe — our passion for Christ smoulders like coals. Joyous. And waiting.


2 Responses to “baby, are we ever on fire”

  1. Tara November 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Beautiful thoughts sister! We are coals! And I felt the same pang of jealousy. But these are Our own doings. There are things I should share, but refrain from doing so bc of the cricket chirps I’ve recieved before. So there are parts of Christ in me that I’m not sharing. This could be the breath some coals need. We all hafta start sharing our breath of Jesus with one another, fa sho.


  1. it is a good day to die « jampackedbrain - March 6, 2012

    […] I talked about my frustration that we weren’t “on fire for Christ” — and my discovery that we smoldering coals are a storehouse of an awful lot of energy. We’re still not, I think, what anyone would call “on fire.” But coals are the […]

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