As the fire roars, I think about Moses at the burning bush. God spoke plainly, audibly to Moses. Many times I wish to hear God just like Moses could. But then, I think about what he would say to me, what kind of  “Go!” he would give me, and I shrink back from the thought. I know, at this time, I am not growing as a Christian should. My life is stagnant, full of depression, self-doubt, and fear.

I scoot closer to the fire to let the heat envelop me. As the warmth surrounds me, I wonder if this is what His presence could feel like. God, and everyone else, are kept at a distance in my life. I cannot, or will not, get truly close to anyone. Walls that were built so long ago as protection have now become an isolating prison. Not wanting to be totally concealed in the dark, I stick to the gray shadows, afraid to step into the light. The light will shine too brightly upon that which I need to hide, still to protect.

As the fire slowly fades to glowing embers, I am reminded that I, too, will fade away without the proper replenishment. I will not grow without community, but community is what I fear. I am not able to openly share my brokenness; I do not feel safe, even though I should. Community, to me, is tiring, suffocating, and confusing. I am unable to connect to the people around me and forcing the connections, even for an hour or two, leaves me exhausted and drained. While, for others, community is energizing; for me, it’s a siphon of my strength.

Most days, I feel my sanity hangs only by a thin thread. What will happen if it snaps, I do dread. I function out of mere stubbornness. Not wanting to give the insanity a chance to take over.

The fire and its warmth are now gone. The chills return and I long to add layers to keep out the cold. The sound of a crackling fire has been replaced with the howl of the wind and the beating of the rain. A comfortable, familiar darkness settles in around me.


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