The mist pads slowly off our small Niagara, like a grey kitten I saw once at the top of the real Niagara. It lays like a thin blanket over the startling green fields. And the tree tips, like lit candles, brandish their autumn flames above. Kindled.

I am in the habit of setting notecards on the RPM field on my dash. Different days, different passages. It's one habit I have no intention of breaking. Sometimes it is my lifeline, sometimes it is my morning thought.

Today's passage was memorized six years ago, but a little review now and then was the author's original intention you see:

"I remind you to kindle afresh the gift
which is in you by the laying on of hands."
II Timothy 1.6

And so this morning as I watch the burning abase, the crumbling of life and green, and now orange, I wonder how it is that kindling is the thing that brings back life--that makes it fresh. I think back to the hands that have been laid on me--more numerous than I remember, more precious than I can describe--and I think that if only they knew how their imparted gifts have gone through the fire. Each and every one.

We mark them. We write them down. We keep journals and papers and margins and mental notes. We know it was the voice of God.

But we don't see it happening.

We see it dying.

We see all those high hopes and real expectations brought to a place where we use them as wood for our sacrifice--they are our only real expressions of worship (Romans 12.1)--and we watch them burn over and over again.

We watch that great, green life ebb into golden flame and fall to the ground. We watch those things we've marked as the Voice of God, the gift from the laying on of hands, the prophetic word of the Church for our lives, we watch them ebb into timid sacrifices, and finally empty them into the hands of the original Creator who knows the original design.

This is why we kindle. This is why our gifts, our words, and our design are kindling--the great fire starter. It is His design to make all things used pass away and make all things new.

Even the things which seem fine just as they are.

October 2007