A match struck.  A candle lit.

Spirit, fan the flame.  Spirit, fan into flame the graces, the gifts placed within me.  Teach me how to hold a pen with an open hand.  A hand willing to let go and give back to You.  At the same time, a hand that is open, palm up, ready to receive from you.

My right hand grows more curled and gnarled by the day, it seems.  Fingers damaged in the fall.  Crooked, atrophied fingers.  The candle glows, highlighting the skin of that same hand, the increasingly-wrinkled and mottled back of my hand.

Lord, shine.  Lord, shine even though I am not proud of what Your light reveals.



This pillar candle has burned unevenly, forming a “V” on the side nearest me.  The torn, waxy veil open to reveal the flame.  The opposing inner wall still stands tall, like a cave wall formed and strengthened by centuries of water trickling down its side.

I’ve been reading biographies and excerpts about Spiritual giants long dead, still remembered, still impacting.  Their light within burned and danced.  The Light of the world unveiled through a “V” shape slashed into their story.  Their combustible souls were wicks bent to one side.  A soul leaning in such a way that, as the Spirit fanned their unique flame, it grew too hot to remain hidden.  A passion that not only burned hot, but also burned through.

These saints did not seem to burn out, as many servants do today.  Rather than burning out, the saints burned up – consumed by the Spirit.  A Holy fire shaped their life.  Whatever outer shell or earthly suit they inhabited was highly flammable, and offered to their Lord.

My life is not my own.  I was bought for a very high price.  Spirit, fan the flame of the gifts and desires placed within me!  Give shape to my outermost self, the visible me, by first lighting my insides with a holy fire.  Burn brighter within me, O God!  My life as ministry must be such that I become one who burns up with passion, not who burns out by pride and performance.

Even as a fire within me could bring warmth and light to the world, this flame is, to me, a transforming fire.  I am not merely enlightened; I am reshaped.