We all have days like this.      Filled with things that keep us up all night.


It wasn’t the cold house with sub-zero weather outside.


It was the fire in the fireplace,  mesmerizing.  Every time I closed my eyes it felt like I was missing some of the “show.”


I thought if I could capture some of the fireplace scenes on camera, then I wouldn’t mind going to sleep and missing the rest of them.


So I sat there with my camera for a long time, snapping pictures once in a while.


Time is passing.    There is so much on my mind that I’m not thinking about any one thing.

IMG_3156The house is  dark and quiet.   The only thing moving is the fire.


After more time, though,  my thoughts stop swirling around, and begin coalescing into specific points of concern.   Many concerns.

What is the most troublesome?


I almost don’t want to know the answer to that.   You know how it feels.   Too many bad experiences.   Too many hard things.   Too much.   Too much.    Like the fire burning in front of me, the particulars change but the general burning,  the general assault of swirling, burning problems does not change.

This is a “world of hurt” — a world that could swirl us closer and closer into a Conflagration that will make the many particular problems meaningless some day.


I can’t stop the world.   I can’t stop its assault.   I can take care of my problems and challenges one by one,   but I can’t stop the burning, swirling . . . . depths of life.

After an hour  —  a couple hours?   three hours?   —   my particular problems blended once again into the familiar blurry chaos that forms the background of our daily living.   I let go and slid back into the present.    The present, everyday reality.   Normal life.

The curtain was pulled back a little that night in front of the fire. . . .

De profundis clamavi ad te,  Domine.

Domine, exaudi vocem meam. . . .

Quia apud Dominum misericordia et copiosa apud eum redemptio

The curtain was pulled back a little that night, and I saw the bigger world,  and then my fireplace pulled me back.   All is like it was before.

With King David I can only say:    “In peace I will both lie down and sleep,  for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”      (Psalm 4:8)

Domine,  exaudi vocem meam . . . .







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