Friday, June 13, 2008

Fire - destructive or purifying?

This week's Bible lesson includes several stories where angels have appeared. Each of those appearances came in some form of fire. Mrs. Eddy defines 'fire' in the glossary of Science and Health (page 586) in part as 'affliction purifying and elevating man.' So today I am looking at those instances with greater interest.

Moses turns aside to see a curious sight, a bush that is on fire but not being consumed. I wrote about this yesterday. His encounter with God that day changed the course of his life. He was elevated from humble shepherd to leader of a nation. It is as he is leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery that God appears as a pillar of fire, going before them to lead the way. That must have been a powerful symbol for the changes taking place in thought as they moved from servants to free people. This symbol of deific power must have also had an effect on the pursuing army of Egypt. It moved between the children of Israel and those soldiers. It showed that God was with them.

We all would like to see such visible evidence of the support and power of divine Love working for us. I had a healing recently that involved an encounter with hot oil. The pain was healed quickly, for which I was very grateful, but the visible effects over the next few days were alarming. I prayed with many ideas, one being that although it looked like my face had been touched by heat, it was not consumed. Within a week what appeared to be an area that would be covered with scars was instead fresh clean skin. No marks remained. All that remains of the incident is gratitude for the 'elevating and purifying' that took place.

I like to think of the 'pillar of fire' as being an idea that can appear just when needed, shining so bright and clear that you know it is divinely inspired. Something that was puzzling or confusing or depressing is suddenly bright and clear and brings peace and joy. Our little Katie Rose is almost a year old. She is usually in her highchair when I come into the kitchen for breakfast. Her face absolutley lights up when any family member appears. And ours light up in return. It is irresistable. A smile can be a 'pillar of light' at any time and under all circumstances.

Those angels, Mrs. Eddy says, are 'our guardians in the gloom.' Should any sense of gloom or doom settle around you today, just stand still and listen for them. My prayer for you is that you feel them supporting you, bringing comfort and reassurance of God's tender care. Welcome the gift.

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