I wanted to be a bonfire, another beacon of hope which could be seen by thousands of remote places… to witness many more mountains set ablaze because of the urgent call I would relay.
“That’s too bold, too arrogant. Surely the people in those remote places will think you’re exaggerating or pushing yourself forward. Better to let someone pass on the message. No doubt they’ll tell it better than you.”
So I turned my thoughts toward living and burning in a fireplace somewhere. At least I could give warmth and comfort to those in need of it. Perhaps the sight of me would be a reminder of the truth.
“To think you could change the temperature of an entire house! You barely have the strength to stay alight as it is. You’re only one candle.”
Yes, there alone in that dark room with dark thoughts swirling around me, I could easily believe all those things.
I’m only one candle.
But wasn’t it part of fire’s nature to grow bigger and spread? What was I missing?
The darkness wrapped itself around me even more closely, like a huge hand with long, icy-cold fingers. I was afraid that it would snuff me out altogether. But it didn’t. Hope began to rise in me again as I remembered all the stories of others who had kept burning, kept trying to light other fires, even though it looked like they were about to die out.Those tiny sparks which they ignited lay dormant for days, weeks, months… even for many years.
Why did they hold on? What drove them to do more than just enough to save their own skins?
These words – paraphrased though they were at the time – floated to the surface of my memory:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (verse 3)
The finger-like mists recoiled and began to loosen their grip on me.
Yes, I was only one candle hidden behind a closed door. But that did not need to be my future…
2 thoughts on “Sparks”
It is the nature of candles to shine. And to hide them under baskets is not modesty. It’s disobedience. The most helpful verses I’ve come across in this vein is 1 Peter 4:10-11. Paraphrased, it says, If you’ve got a gift, use it to serve others as good stewards of God’s varied grace that God might be glorified in all things. So the motivation to shine is not selfish gain but service that our great God might be glorified. So keep shining!
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