I'm becoming an expert on fires.
Not on starting them, you understand. That's still the husband's job. But on watching them, and fiddling with them, and adding a log or two. Evaluating whether there is still any life left, in some dying embers.
I'm surprised at how a roaring fire can still be roused from a gray bed of seemingly cold stumps.
Today I watched a dying fire. And just as I thought it was on its last hurrah, a huge flame burst out on one end of a crumbling mass. Dying fires are so delicate, you see -- have you ever fiddled with embers? They crumble at the slightest touch. No wonder they die. But inside, they are hot, burning, lively. Ready to jump to life again, even if only for a few minutes.
I know there is a spiritual lesson to be gleaned here, but my weary mind has trouble grasping it. This I know though: where there's life, there's hope. Where even an ember remains, with any heat in it, a clever fire-tender can elicit a glow, and a spark, and a lively fire, and warmth again.
Hope. We should try to see hope in everything. The cold. The fragile. The dying. Where there is heaven, there is the greatest hope.