In which the fire should not die out

by Craig on October 10, 2012


We moved from Brooklyn to St. Louis after fourth grade. I was never a boy scout, but a kid invited me along to a jamboree.

It was city mouse…country mouse.

The first night was cold drizzly rain and no dinner.

The city mouse had forgotten to eat before leaving home.
The city mouse’s mom hadn’t packed him any food.
The city mouse didn’t have a sleeping bag either.
So the city mouse just shivered and starved…

until, around midnight.

The city mouse remembers the time because he looked at his watch every 5 minutes.
Someone finally gave the city mouse a blanket and a hunk of Velveeta cheese.
The city mouse survived his first night in the wild – just by his whiskers though.

The next day there was a series of Boy Scout-ish activities.

There was running – I could do that.
There was archery – I could do that.
Then there was a fire building test.

There were fires in Brooklyn so I figured I could do that.

There was the spot you would build the fire…
and a stake to either side…
and three strings running across between the two stakes…
one about 6 inches high, another 12 inches high, and another a little higher.

I overheard someone talk about how pine needles burned really well.

So I gathered up a bunch, along with a stray twig or two.

The whistle blew I ignited my pine needles…
and the blaze was mighty indeed…
shooting all the way up to the top string.


I thought to myself, “Silly country mice!”

But then suddenly the blaze began to disappear – but not the strings.

So I threw on more needles…
blew at them like the other kids.

Apparently you needed more than a big burst of flame to get job done. You needed the pine needles, and the twigs, and some bigger sticks. The city mouse didn’t know this so he got a mini inferno – then a bunch of nothing.

These past weeks have been lived in the blaze of emotion about Sara…
this child of God, so faithful, so true, so brave, being here – then not.

But the tears that would. not. stop?
Mostly they’ve vanished like the mist…

returning only when a heart-string gets tugged.

The heartsounds gets heightened at times like these…and then we forget.

I’ve noticed Autumn leaves falling…and how they are covering the ground…


…just like time will soon cover all of this.

Civilizations are buried underneath civilizations. Time literally submerges the past.

And I’m glad you guys have let me blog about this without running away.

Now I’ll have these words to come back to as the pine needle fire settles.

So now, how to keep the fire alive?

Not the blaze, but the sustained flame.

I’ll have that answer by next time.

Please come back.



Here are all of  the posts on life, the end of life, and Sara.
You might heart reading them as much as I.

In which it’s the small things
Love remembers when eternity touches time
In which sorrow submerges joy
Love prays peace, courage, faith, and knowing
In which are “eternity touching time” thank you’s to God
Love is eternity touching time
In which there is hard love
Love believes beyond the dark doorway
In which everyone should have at least one
Love is the faith of a child
In which there is keeping watch
Love is sometimes paradox
In which is rain, and tears in season
Love is greater than the universe, as are we 
In which is steady, intent, trudging toward the Light
Love reaches for the higher branches
In which is tapestry
Love is believing, living, blinking out, then still living

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

A. October 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

Craig, yes, the sustained flame. Perseverance. It builds our character muscles God’s way.

I am glad you revisited Sara with us. There are precious truths in her story; in her life.

Choose joy-that has to be one of the best of her truths.


Craig November 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

And so I begin catching up on my comments :) And A. I needed to be reminded of Sara – oh that I would read what I write from time to time. Choose JOY – that was here – said it was as easy as deciding. It’s kinda true. God bless A.


thefisherlady October 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

It was city mouse…country mouse…Oh I love that you have put this in… I love your post! It is sad though… and I know Sara would want you to rejoice with her that she has gone ahead. she shares now in the prize that was set before her and with great joy she is cheering you on from heaven’s stands. Can’t you hear her Craig? she says, “Run Craig, run with joy, Craig… Jesus has said, It is finished! so we can belly laugh and rejoice… ” She is well Craig…cheer on!


Craig November 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Susan, things have been so difficult that I’m only now replying to your comment from a month ago. I’m sorry. in case you don’t remember which post it was when you get the e-mail, it was about the city mouse, country mouse – and what I have to say is that one of the great joys of Christian life is losing people we know are Christian – not the losing part – but the knowing that they are still living. It is far, far better to believe than to not believe. God bless and keep you my friend!


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