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finding beauty in the blaze

Here is something a bit different that I wrote kind of Reflection style so if that is not your thing just skip it.

  blaze-ways.jpg  Not to long ago an elderly neighbor lost his weekend cottage in a careless fire. I had been helping in the clean-up effort in the aftermath of what looked like a small bomb blast on his wooded plot of land and cutting into firewood what was once his quite get-away home that had been leveled to heaps of cindered wood and ruble that needed to be cut, stacked and cleared away before we can build a new one. In the salvage and recovery efforts I went through mountains of burnt and scorched wood, from old floor boards to large wooden beams, some reduced to charcoal and others still somewhat usable that we cut into fire wood and yet others hardly scathed that we can use again in the reconstruction efforts.

    At times like this it really makes you wonder why things like this have to happen, one day it’s there and the next it is gone and the remnants of what is left behind, memories, all worthless now and in a heap.

    I personally have gone though a time recently in my life where I too just felt like this old cottage, that there just was no more future for me and that I had just burned down for the last time and felt just like charred wood in a heap barely good for anything but a little more burning to be reduced fully to ash and my usefulness fully snuffed out for good.

    It reminds me of the time I visited the house of a friend of mine and he took me on a tour of his wine cellar. He had a wood beam ceiling in it and I commented on the woodwork that the wood must have been rather old and been though a lot to look so distinguished. To my surprise his reply was “no, this is a new cellar built with new timber” he went on to explain, “we just put the wood in a fire for a bit then lightly pained off the outer layer to bring out the grain and give it this effect.” I was amazed that they would deliberately and painstakingly do something potentially so harmful to what would have been a small fortune of timber. Standing there then I could not help but gaze at the richness that it had in character and what would have been just ordinary pine rafters was now transformed in nature with every ring and grain in the wood plainly visible, and the dark and light contrast clearly making it a beautiful piece of wood crafting and a rustic touch to the ambiance of this cellar.

    God does much the same with us during trying times. He allows us to experience seeming turmoil and “go under the heat” with what seems like the very thing that will burn out our usefulness and sacrifice our beauty forever. He does this not to burn us to ash but to bring out our grain and prove our character and will He has already placed in us that He wants to bring out and show to others. These seeming cracks and dark lines to us might seem hard and unsightly and painful, but when others look at us from farther away to them they see the end result and that the master Carpenter of our life truly does all things well and is the author and finisher of our faith.

    The apostle Peter had his share of fiery times and his advise to us was to not think it odd or strange when we “hit the heat” in these times in our lives, but even to rejoice, and that when His glory is revealed we may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Pet.4:12-13)

    So when we hit these times in our lives when we feel like we’re just covered in sot and everything seems to be burning down all around us and things look hopeless that is the very time to rejoice. We can be used again, we can still be of use to others and through our overcoming prove our character and find our true beauty in the blaze.

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Categories: my writings
  1. July 7, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Incredibly beautiful. I’m so glad you’re writing again, it’s definitely reflections material…at least! It makes a lot of sense, too. Hope one day I’ll turn out beautiful like that too…I sure can relate.

  2. July 8, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Really nice and so true. You have a gift for writing…

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