Thanks be to the Almighty, a cool breeze made it’s way through my door this morning. Friends, Family, Coworkers and Acquaintances, did you survive the fiery summer? Is your soul burning, perhaps with love, perhaps with anger, perhaps with desperation, depression or joy. Have you let the fiery summer burn your soul or have you buried the embers below. If you have followed the flame to it’s source what have you found? Imperfection, Longing, Conflict, Love, Sadness or Confusion?This summer have you been able to avoid vice for a long enough period to feel the ache and burn in your soul? FEEL THE BURN.

Realization: no one escapes the fire.

It took quite a few years for me to realize that following Jesus was not an escape from suffering but a commitment to suffer honestly. I remember in a class called “suffering and the heart of the judge” that I took many years ago, my teacher was teaching us how to meditate on Christ and she spoke of the pain of longing. She said “you sit with this longing for as long as possible until you can’t possibly sit any longer and then you go and do laundry or something practical”. I’ve been running from that pain ever since. If only practical things like laundry could really help, maybe at first they help, but then you have to find something stronger than laundry, like maybe dishes.

 When we let the longing over take us, we are letting the Spirit of God have access to our soul, when this happens we can’t hide our brokenness, we can’t hide the fact that we suffer, and we can’t hide the fact that in our avoidance of truth/suffering/fire, we have harmed others. This is what I’ve found to be true: Honest suffering leads to honest celebration, or another way to say it is real pain leads to real joy.