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The Flame burns on... (Day 13, Proverbs)

Proverbs 13:9
“The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

I’m writing this outside at Big Spring Park by the eternal flame.

I feel too unsettled in my own spirit to sit in my Sunday school classroom this morning just talking about the Spirit. I need a more direct breathing in and out with the Spirit instead. I read the Word and I look around...

Elderly men and grandmothers are walking by with their dogs on leashes. Young mothers with their babies in strollers. A runner paces and stretches, expectedly watching for his buddy.

Two homeless men are sitting at a table nearby. They occasionally take a drink of something. One is smoking. And both are reading. Reading? What books would capture their attention? I’m most curious.

I stroll by, nonchalantly, to catch a glimpse. A paperback novel for one man; a hardback library book for the other. But I’m too far away to see the titles. Dare I engage them in conversation?

No. I head toward the flame instead. It sits atop a bronze replica of the Declaration of Independence, something I also am declaring by my presence here (John 8:36). The words look weather-worn and the old signatures are barely perceptible beside the newly scratched modern ones.

The flame burns on.

I reconsider the homeless men. A family is now nearby, romping with their kids in the grass, so I feel safe. I chit-chat with Mr. Paperback first. I ask what he’s reading. A novel I’ve never heard of. He likes the author.

His friend ignores me. So I ask Mr. Paperback about his friend’s selection. Mr. Hardback then flips over his book so I can see the cover. Another novel I don’t know. We make idle comments, flatter the weather, and I walk away.

And the flame burns on.

A girlfriend takes a picture of her boyfriend in front of the flame and the Declaration of Independence. Then she giggles and they walk away.

The cherry trees are in full bloom. The geese patiently wait for chubby hands full of bread crumbs. The homeless men switch tables in search of shade.

I hear the church bells chime downtown. They're telling me it’s time...head back to your own church. The mini-churches here at the park are unaware of time.

I take off my brown flats and reluctantly slip my feet back into my black high heels. Outside church is over. I return to the inside.

But the Flame burns on.
(Haggai 2:5b)
Leviticus 6:13
Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.


danielle said...

makes me wanna take a walk and open my eyes. i love those times. God really speaks when we're quiet. thanks for writing that

Anonymous said...

I love reading what you write mom. It's very encouraging!

Anonymous said...

I liked breathing in the Spirit with you as you went to an outside cathedral where God's people live and where they may or may not know His Holy Spirit flame is inside of them waiting to be acknowledged.

There are those inside the church you escaped from for these moments that may need that flame ignited too.

We all need to be refreshed, reignited take a deep breath so our flames continue. Bless you, Lisa!

Lisa notes... said...

I found this today:
"Two Churches--Both Practicing" that reflects a little more of what I was trying to say [and some stuff that I was NOT trying to say. ;-)]

An interesting read on what is "church," really. The follow-up comments on there are insightful as well.


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