What does it mean these days to re-kindle? Does it mean to download another book to your Kindle? I suppose it could. I do have a Kindle, and it sure comes in handy for fast purchases of books.
But to me to re-kindle has a much grander meaning, of course. It means to restore and renew flagging spirits.
“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light”. Albert Schweitzer
There have been moments in my life when I have felt completely defeated and downhearted. I am sure that most of you have felt that way, too. Sometimes it is people that make you feel defeated, sometimes it is circumstances beyond your control that overwhelm you with sorrow, grief, or even anger. And it seems that ‘this is it’. You almost literally sit down in the middle of the sidewalk, draw your knees up, and shriek and cry. It feels as though that horrible feeling will be a permanent thing. Then it happens. Someone comes along and says or does something that soothes your pain. Or maybe it isn’t a person. Maybe you are sitting on your deck crying or angry. …and a little songbird or butterfly lands on the porch rail. the bird tilts his head and bursts into a beautiful, full-throated song.
Or someone calls you, or someone stops by…….you may say these are coincidences. A wise friend named Louise told me over 20 years ago that coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. I agree with her 🙂
When I have felt alone and overcome He restores me. He often does it through wonderful grace-filled re-kindling moments. There have been countless ones in my life. I am guessing there have been in yours as well. I need to look back through my past posts and see what stories about that I have already shared before I share some more of my re-kindled moments. I don’t want to repeat myself too much! But over the years of life’s gains and losses, I have needed re-kindling and restoring. By now it is no longer to possible to accurately count my blessings. There have been so very many. Each re-kindling event makes me stronger, and my flame burns longer as a result.
There was a summer during my college years when I went on a retreat that lasted for I think somewhere between 5 days and a week. This followed my freshman year of college. I had a tough and lonely year. when I came back home my friends at home were distant, too. I felt like I fit in neither place. Then I headed out of town for the retreat ~ with some people I knew from my TEC [Teens Encounter Christ] retreat from senior year of HS. They were from all over the Chicago metro area. Those few people were the only ones I knew on the retreat. There were a bunch of other people on the retreat that I met there for the first time. We camped, we did Scripture studies, we sat around the campfire and song, talked, and prayed. Some days we had canoe trips. We had 3 people per canoe—and you guessed it, I was in the middle. Some of the kids called me “the Queen of the Nile” because I was in the middle, and they proclaimed me to be beautiful. Many of the guys started calling me their “little sis”.[I actually have 2 younger brothers, and was the 1st grandchild on both sides of the family. So to be “little sis” was joyous]. I was surrounded and enveloped by love. They accepted me and nurtured me from the get-go.
To say that they re-kindled my flame was an understatement. They re-suited with a suit of armor made of pure love. I was no longer one bit afraid. I was healed, re-stored, re-newed ~ and laughing out loud; no longer crying on the inside. Past rejection no longer mattered. It truly didn’t. I knew in my heart that I would be blessed with friendships, real friendships at all times of my life. I didn’t know whether this particular group of friends would be “forever-friends”. But I knew at a new level that love would be returned by the people God wanted in my life. That was the same summer that “Garden Party” became a hit. So you see, it all intertwined. It was my “hear me roar” summer. During the previous 12 months prior to the camping retreat, I had accepted others’ version of me. I had believed I deserved their rejection, bullying, humiliation, and alienation. Of course, I had not. The camping retreat convinced me of that. Not only did that experience re-kindle me, it added a huge stack of wood for future fires as well. It gave me strength so that God at times gives me the strength and light of a lighthouse or a campfire. On my own, without Him and the love of others, I could dissolve into a tiny birthday cake candle.See, I told you I am blessed.