Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?





I told Adam yes. He and I were sitting by the fire outside tonight. I took some pictures of the fire with my phone and remarked how it never does it justice. He agreed and said that he thinks the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” isn’t really true. I said it was. A picture could be worth way more words than just a thousand! He said he didn’t think I could write a thousand words about my picture of the fire. Ha! Yes I can!

So, fire. Fire is awesome. I love staring at it. I was always fascinated with it when I was a kid, much to my mom’s chagrin. Well now there’s a word you don’t hear much. Chagrin. I knew it fit what I was trying to say, but since I wouldn’t really use it when actually talking…should I have used it just now? I guess not. Oh well, I like it.

Back to fire.

Tonight’s fire wasn’t the best, but I still love it. The embers are always mesmerizing. Watching the flames and embers glow brings back to me the memories of other fires. We would have campfires when I was a kid. We’d roast marshmallows. My mom would make “white cake”. We would drink hot chocolate.

We didn’t do enough fires. There are never enough fires. Such a simple thing has the ability to bring people together, for warmth and for community. For reflection or singing or laughing or talking…the fire is the centerpiece that must be there. It adds so much comfort. Of course, you can do all those things without a fire, but a fire adds a richness that makes you want to linger. To keep talking long after it has gone out and only embers are left. It ignites feelings inside you.

What do you think about when you’re sitting by a fire? I think about things of meaning. People. God. My goals or dreams. I also think about my stomach. I want to put hot dogs and marshmallows in my belly. It’s comforting. I’m one of those people that catches the marshmallow on fire because it tastes awesome that way. And probably because I was always way too impatient as a kid to wait for the marshmallow to be thoroughly brown. It takes forever.

We didn’t roast marshmallows tonight. They’re horrible poison-filled lab-created sugar bombs that will kill you dead. So we don’t buy them. I would be horrified if Olive ate one. We roasted a few hot dogs tonight. Since Olive is a toddler, you never know how she’s going to be in a circumstance like this. She alternated between curiosity about what we were doing, about the fire, and then fussing because she was tired. She ended up falling asleep and it was only six o’clock! She woke up about eight and just went back to sleep and it’s midnight. Tonight should be interesting. I’m obviously not one of those moms that enforces a particular bedtime…probably because every time I try, it doesn’t work and we all end up frustrated. So we might as well all sleep when we’re tired. Well, I said that wrong. Olive will sleep when she’s tired, and if mama is tired, oh well, she has to wait til Olive is sleeping.

Back to fire.

It’s pretty. I love the color. I love the sound. It crackles and pops so cheerily. (Can you tell I’m trying to make it to 1000 words? I’m at 579. Really??) So, fire is great. We should do it more often. Adam should play his guitar around the fire more often. We should invite friends over to be around the fire more often. Speaking of which, it’s been awhile since we hosted a dinner party. Does anyone really invite anyone else to dinner anymore? Like, as in, set an actual date and time instead of an open-ended “We should do dinner sometime!” Well, we should. I think it’s a lost art.

Everyone stays in their own houses, doing their own things. Ever notice that when you go for walks, no one is outside usually? What must it have been like back in the days when there was no internet, and TV wasn’t watched much because there were like three channels? I wonder if the neighborhoods were filled with activity. There were more kids, riding bikes and playing games in the streets. Imagine that! Kids today just stay inside. What kind of world is my daughter growing up in?

Back to fire.

I’m at 753. I remember a New Year’s Eve fire at my aunt’s house in Georgia. It was a fun night! We all sat around it, talked and laughed and had an awesome time. Adam and I were dating. We snuck away (apparently snuck isn’t a word because the computer is underlining it in red). We got into my uncle’s rowboat and rowed it out onto the little lake in front of their house. It was around midnight. I remember being so cold but it was so fun and exciting. I love my family. It’s fun to do fires with them. We should all let the mesmerizing effect of the fire bring out our truest thoughts, and spend time reflecting on what’s most important. And we should share those thoughts with others around us, sitting at the fire. I think that’s why fires are sentimental. It makes you remember. It makes you dream about the future.

It’s exciting. Fire has passion. I think there’s a reason why God is called a “Consuming Fire”. If we truly let Him in, He will consume our selfishness and bring out the gold. It’s called the Refiner’s Fire. Refining with flame is one of the oldest methods of refining metals, according to this source. “In ancient times, this form of refining involved a craftsman sitting next to a hot fire with molten gold in a crucible being stirred and skimmed to remove the impurities or dross that rose to the top of the molten metal. With flames reaching temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees Celsius, this job was definitely a dangerous occupation for the gold refiner. The tradition remains largely untouched today with the exception of a few advancements in safety and precision.”

Just reading that makes me think about how I need God to continuously do that in me. It reminds me of an old worship song from the 90s.

 I am here to buy gold refined in the fire. Naked and poor, wretched and blind I come. Clothe me in white, so I won’t be ashamed. Lord, light the fire again!

There you have it. 1137 words so far. And I’m glad I wrote this, because I needed to be reminded of God’s consuming fire. And it’s a good kind of consuming. It’s not like it means that He doesn’t like any part of us. He created us and I believe He loves us and made our personalities unique. But we have a fallen nature, and He purifies us and shows us the parts that need to be made clean. Our motives. Our character. Our selfishness. I want His fire to consume away the parts that need to be gone, and to leave only pure faith and love.

Create in me a clean heart, Oh God. And renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your free spirit. Psalm 51:10-12

So who wants to have dinner??







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