The Fire Within

Agnes Martin the American abstract painter, once wrote: “defeat is the beginning, not the end of all positive action.”

Imagine all the failures we experience in our lives. To pick ourselves up and continue requires mettle and perseverance. We have all known others who have fallen, and deep inside we see ourselves in similar circumstances wondering if we have the courage to step back on the path. The habits and inclinations that are part of us can discourage even the greatest saint. Our tendency to choose the same thing over and over is disheartening.

Envision Pentecost when the fire of the Holy Spirit settled upon the heads of those gathered. It did not take away our natures We are still made in God’s image, but our likeness is restored. A promise has been kept, and no longer deprived of his glory, we can live differently.

Goodness flowing through our hearts can only have one effect–a fire of love that restores us, joins us to others we have hurt. We are purified and restored. Our defeat, our submission to our worst selves, is nothing more than ashes.

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