Her Fireplace

She was widowed young — a mom with a houseful of little ones and no companion with whom to kiss their ouchies and tie their shoes. Her life was shackled with loss. Back then, when I heard about it, I was in college with no understanding of what all of that meant — still, it pained me. What does God do with such life-altering affliction?

I didn’t know her well, but He meant for me to hear her story. I had an unrelenting curiosity about her coping. It touched on a nagging question deep within. That kind of tragedy set against whom, I had been told, was a good God. How? It had to be too much pain for the Father’s touch.

But, she was not disqualified from knowing Him as good. Instead, she was ushered into a whole new understanding of that goodness. Holiness happened by her fireplace. Evenings, once set aside for the mutual recounting of details in a day — the celebrating of a child’s victory, commiserating over heart set-backs — she gave them, now, to Him. Lights off upstairs and the last child tucked safely away, this woman found a home on her couch with her God.

She met with Him.

She carried her heavy-laden heart to those worn cushions and He cradled her. The day’s ups-and-downs were now received by the unseen. And that fireplace witnessed her reprieve.

Years later, my circumstances, though less severe, called for a cradling of their own. In those years which felt unforgiving I remember thinking several times: it couldn’t possibly get much worse than this, only to wake up the next day and find that one more cord wrapped around what had once been my secure life had snapped. Few areas of our lives went untouched during that season.

Her vignette came back to me. If He could meet even her, then, He can meet me, now.

This stranger taught me where to start.

Communion was conversation. Cadence. My pain for His Words. His Truth slowly infusing new understanding into me. I saw His flesh absorbing my tears and felt a lifting that went beyond the natural.

Sounds esoteric? It was. Since when did brushes with the God who chose to break through the membrane of the earth He created — with an infant Son– become normal?

He transcended my mind to touch my heart. And I let out the sigh of years’ longings

Gone was the obligatory Bible-open prayer and study time, I had a brush with a Person. He climbed off the page and into my reality. He was real.

Real enough to make me want to reorient my new normal around these moments of communion. My heart was being put back together, hearthside, and what I’d previously constructed as “relationship” wasn’t what was doctoring me.

He was.

His Word and His whisper weren’t intended for a handshake, they were meant to engulf me. Communion meant getting lost in Him — but my earlier version of christianity was far too buttoned-up for me to lose myself in all that was Him. So pain and life’s perplexity ushered me there.

Fast forward years and He has given me a fireplace off my bedroom. Just one of those sweet touches which my often impoverished heart resists but my Father doesn’t. She met with Him, then and there, and her story is still impacting me here.

My life is learning that I was made for this communion. In the day and age where  we offer up minutes here and there to that which never deeply satisfies, He doesn’t call me to stifle my cravings; He allures me to the Answer for every single one of them.

I want to commune with the God-Man living inside of me. Morning, noon, and night I want to find Him.

Hour-stretches without brushing up against His perspective are missed opportunities.

So, I’ve written this post in an effort to remind myself, again why I adore*.  These days, adoration is the introduction to that fireside conversation. And everyday, sometimes multiple times per day, I need reacquainting.


[For a simple way to turn minutes into conversation, take a look at the column on the right-hand side of my blog. Every Monday it is front-and-center here, and the days in-between, when I can move my adoration from my moleskin journal onto my computer, I post it there*.

I invite you to let Him introduce Himself to you — to adore  with me.

You won’t regret it.]

*You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit)

Additionally, all of the Morning Chai Posts can be seen, in the order of posting, by clicking here or adding this address to your reader: http://EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai

Picture compliments of Mandie Joy.