Throw It In the Fire

by Bruce Maples

(Written after building a meditation bonfire on top of a garbage pile)

Old logs — dead branches off dead trees —
    plastic bags of garbage —
        rain-soaked, weather-beaten cardboard boxes —

All stacked — thrown in a pile —
    surrounded by broken chunks of concrete blocks.

A pile — waiting to be a pyre.

Useless now, and ugly.
    A haven for rats and termites, and other things that destroy from the inside out.

But . . .

Put a match to it, and it becomes

A beacon —
    A source of light —
        A source of heat —
            A candle, a fire —

Burning, burning, consuming —

Rising to the sky, to heaven — to God.

That’s what we all are —
    piles of trash, of dead things, of garbage, and empty boxes —
        weatherbeaten, worn, tired, lifeless,

But . . .

Put the match to us,
    the match of God —

And we are
    aflame
        ablaze
            alive.

Sending the flame of our lives out to the world and up to God,

Even while that flame consumes us.

That’s what you’ve got to do —

Put God’s match to yourself

And then

Take everything you have

    Your work
        Your things
            Your life

And throw it in the fire.

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