Reflecting on 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
There’s an incendiary sentence in this week’s second reading from 2Timothy: “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you.” Those of us in Colorado and California have had more than enough “flames” this season. One hundred and sixty nine Boulder families were recently displaced when flames, whipped up by winds, darted from house to house, destroying homes and hundreds of acres of land. It is the most costly fire in Colorado history.
But it does give one pause. How quickly, how ravenously a fire can consume anything in its wake. A fire starts out quietly (in this case in a fire pit) and then builds volume as it spreads. And it’s just that kind of fire that the author of the letter to Timothy is encouraging!
I’ve seen lots of those kinds of fires. Twelve years ago my brother Marty pointed out a little girl in his inner-city Math class and said, “This kid will be President someday if somebody will just give her a little help.” Last year, at age 18 and a first-year college student, she wowed the benefactors at the Seeds of Hope gala with her poised and thoughtful reflection on the many mentors who supported her as she navigated her way through elementary school and high school. She’ll probably be President of her own non-profit someday. She will undoubtedly spend her life stoking the same fires of compassion and justice that were darting around her during those difficult years.
Send forth the fires of your justice, God. And let each one of us fan the flames of radical kindness and goodness into a fire that can never be extinguished.
Sharing God’s Word at Home:
Can you remember a kindness that one person extended that grew into a larger “firestorm” of good?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).