It has already been a few weeks since farmers around here had the opportunity to burn old swaths and other vegetation that could not be handled any other way until now. Duane had taken me for a quad ride at dusk as we watched the remnants of the golden flames leave a dark path of black where life once was. It was magical and beautiful in all of its power... no wonder Duane loves fire!
And it is a good thing he "knows" fire as well as he does. Not only as a firefighter but also as a farmer. Fire exhibits patterns of behaviour and you can cut a fire off by knowing the wind's direction and ironically, by fighting by starting another fire. Now I understand the saying "fighting fire with fire."
Now, I won't mention the one portion of our land that took off like a firecracker and left the municipality's deputy shaking a finger at Duane (good thing we are related... heck, they're all related out here!). But 99.9% of the time, Duane manages these blazes as though he was herding cattle. It is beautiful to watch.
It was not until the next day that I got to see the full effects of these fires. In the dusk lighting, I could see that it was blackened but in the full daylight, it looked as though someone had laid a blanket of black velvet over the earth. The smell of burnt grass and straw hung in the air if you stepped on the black carpeted earth and disturbed the ashes.
It looked like a beautiful death.
How on earth could anything survive this? Of course, I have to ask Duane this question and he explains that new life emerges stronger and more vibrant after "cleaning up" with a fire. I smiled at the depth of that statement.
What a metaphor for life... even in the midst of our deepest, darkest and most devastating chaos, our lives are merely being "cleaned" and prepared for stronger growth and more vibrant life!
Being Sabbath for us today, we typically enjoy a family quad ride around the perimeter of our farm. There on that once blackened hill is a greenery that outshines any of the new life growing anywhere else this spring. The sun beamed down fervently on that blackness as though enticing life from deep within the earth... and it responded!
God must do the same thing for us... in our darkest moments, he beckons us with such fervor so as to entice the "life" that is deep within us as though summoning an old memory we can barely grasp at our fingertips.
Isn't it beautiful to know that death cannot touch us without new life emerging?
So here is this thought deep in my heart to be shared with you in hopes that you are comforted in whatever challenges you face right now... whatever your own experience is with "death" whether it is that of a relationship, that of life as you knew it, or that of a loved one. I pray that new life be stirred deep within you to remind you that you are deeper in life than you ever thought possible.
May you dance like a vibrant flame and burn rich like a prairie fire... stirring up new life everywhere you have touched.
Much love to you out there and God's richest blessings upon you today and always.