Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Flare Up Like Flame
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
-Let Everything Happen, Rainer Maria Rilke
I could get crafty with every line of that poem. I have been enjoying Rilke for a few weeks now. The line that is tap dancing in front of me, begging for attention is that "Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in," goodie.
I hear Jesus saying for us to be the candle on a hill, flickering, dancing, casting His shadow. The wind will try to blow us over, blow us out. The rain may dampen our wicks. Our matches puddle at our feet. But there is that urging, Flare up like flame!
How? How? Wet wood may smoke but not burn. Really? Try telling that to the 450 prophets of Baal.
It is that "Embody me" encouragement. When Christ is at the center, when He is our core; fire lives as He lives. He is the Resurrection and wet wood is below His weight class.
Some days my spirit suffers oxygen debt. I am afflicted with too much of all the things that smother me. Work, bills, the demands of life. If I turn my thoughts toward Jesus, even for a moment, a window opens and His freshness slips in over the sill bringing His radiance with it. Life is full of resurrections.
It is up to me to do the turning. When I let myself be drawn to Him, the atmosphere around His Presence supports combustion and I am a flame dancer casting shadows for Him to move in- even if I am sitting still.
Is He up to it? Can His Presence really consume all the dead wood that drains us?
You call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God. 1Kings18:24
and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Daniel 7:10