Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, April 17, 2008

To Be a Coal and Not a Flame

I know a man who wrote this poem recently -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know...

"To Be a Coal and Not a Flame"

What should I be, a coal or flame?
Both burn "for God," but not the same.

With flames, it's true, there's much to like.
They dance and shine, and twirl and spike.
But when the winds of hardship blow,
When spit upon by rainy foe,
They'll die out quick, just as they came.
And then where is the gift of flame?

They also lash and wildly act!
And this can be a harmful fact.
I think then I would gladly trade,
Their sharper zeal for blunter blade.

Though not as hot and not as bright,
A coal gives longer lasting light.
The ember's heat and warmth remain,
And softly glows through wind and rain.
Should even ice surround a coal,
It stays aflame in inner soul.

Must I be cast into the dust,
I'd wish to cling with coal-like trust.
For theirs is a peculiar fire,
To even burn in ash and mire.

You said, "Before you start a war,
Make sure your soldiers number more."

You said, "Before you build your stuff,
First count, lest you not have enough."

You said, "Of this you can be sure,
I'll only save if you endure."

I fear that when life whirls about,
All boastful flames will flicker out.

To be a coal and not a flame,
This is my earnest godly aim.