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

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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