One thing I would miss, if we ever pack our bags and blow this popsicle joint, is my fireplace. This time of year it is the magnetic glue of our home. We huddle around it, sleep next to it and read by it. The warmth it gives, both emotionally and physically, simply cannot be overstated.
However, when my mornings get busy and I’m brushing my teeth while making my bed and the kids are hungry and half-dressed, time silently slips past while I forget about the stove in our basement and the embers burn low.
The funny thing about fires is that they can be managed, fed and stoked quite easily while hot, yet they are hopelessly burdensome to resurrect once they have burned low, or worse, gone out. Not too many mornings ago I chastised myself for lingering too long upstairs before checking on the fire–once again it was on the brink of extinction. In a desperate attempt to revive the fire quickly, I stacked newspaper, kindling and a few new logs on the embers before I was called away to put out an argument upstairs. Later, when I remembered my quest, I checked on my fire only to be met with smoldering failure. You see, you cannot revive a low burning fire quickly, it takes time, attention and just the right kind of fuel.
As I stood dazing at the job before me, my mind went to the encouragement of Hebrews which states, “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near (chapter 10 verse 25).” Our lives can be reflected in my fireplace. Together we have the capability to keep each other focused, purposeful, useful, and active. Apart and on our own we often flounder, burn out and loose our spark.
Are you neglecting the blessing of community in your life? Tonight I was encouraged to seek community warmth. I sat down and wrote a two page hand written letter to a widow neighbor down the road. I invited her to consider coming over for a regular visit during our school day. I mentioned the blessing my kids would get from reading to her and how much they would love to play games. I told her it would be a blessing to me. It was hard to write that letter. I don’t want to impose. I don’t want to be assumptive. I don’t want to offend. However, even more than that, I don’t want to miss out on the community that is waiting for me. I want my fire to burn. It’s easier together.