Thursday, August 29, 2013

On sputtering flames and rekindling sparks

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person,” said Albert Schweitzer. “Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Read those two sentences again and pause to think:

How many times has your light dimmed and faltered, only to be rekindled by a spark from another person?

In what ways was God arranging events to bring that person into your life? You might not have recognized His efforts at the time, but if you take time to give it thought, perhaps you, like Jacob, will wake up and declare, “God was here all along but I wasn’t even aware of it!”

Connect the dots and pin down the ways God hovered close, working out His good plans for you.

Frederick Buechner observes that on the road to Emmaus, Jesus recognized the disciples even though they didn’t recognize him.

Buechner continues, “In this dark world where you and I see so little because of our unrecognizing eyes, he, whose eye is on the sparrow, sees each one of us.… And I believe that whether we recognize him or not, or believe in him or not, or even know his name, again and again he comes and walks a little way with us along whatever road we’re following. And I believe that through something that happens to us, or something we see, or somebody we know—who can ever guess how or when or where?—he offers us … a new hope, a new vision of light that not even the dark world can overcome.”  (Secrets in the Dark; emphasis mine)

Take a few days or weeks or even months to recognize those occasions. Make yourself a working document: a two-column list of both the events and the people who stepped into your life and invited you into the light.

Each of those incidents is a story waiting to be written and shared with others in your memoir.

When you write, dig deep and deeper. Refuse to skim over the shallow surface of life. What lessons did you learn through both the faltering of your light and the rekindling? As a result, how did your life change? What new person did you become? How did the experience strengthen your faith?

If you write your stories, your memoir can rekindle a flame for someone else whose light is sputtering.

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  1. This is great food for thought, Linda: how God works through chords of human kindness. I just recently had a friend encourage me when my light was dim. Her words totally changed my outlook!

    1. Betsy, thanks for sharing that story about our friend's encouragement. What a gift she and her words were. I'm so glad she was helpful. I'm always pleased to see your messages here! :)


  2. Through my breast cancer journey I have met some truly amazing and inspirational friends who are so special I swear I sometimes want to check their backs to see where they are hiding their angel wings. If not for the illness, I would have missed having these wonderful people in my life, and even if I had come across them I may not have appreciated how truly special they are and how important it is to support and care for each other. God is truly always working in our lives and brings us light and love and laughter if we just trust Him.

    1. Oh, Cathy, what a special comment you have penned. Bless those dear people who came alongside and cared for you and encouraged you--and who have now become special friends. You're right, God is always working in our lives and brings light and love and laughter. I'm smiling, Cathy. Thanks for stopping by.