Become all flame

This little story from the Desert Fathers grips my heart every time. There are other sayings or sentences that grip my heart. Two have coincided today and I am becoming undone all over again by them.

The sentence from Bonhoeffer’s book on discipleship grips me: “Their hearts are fully absorbed in seeing God.”

The story:

Abba Lot went to Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?”

Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands toward heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”

My heart leaps at that story. Well, my heart leaps and weeps at that story.

I am so satisfied to do my “little thing.” I pray. I study the Scriptures. I worship. Those are all good. They are really good. And, as we see in Abba Lot’s life, these practices lead to a deeper hunger. It is the deeper hunger that is difficult. It leads us to the difficult question:

“What else can I do?”

Don’t ask that unless you mean it. Abba Joseph demonstrates that. He asked that question at some point in his life and it led him to a place of the radical presence of God.

Become all flame.

The tragedy of all that is I read that sentence from Bonhoeffer and that little story from the desert fathers and my heart leaps. I am overwhelmed with Spirit… all in a moment.

The challenge is to move past the moment to the movement. It is not to feel that warmth of the Spirit in the moment but to be consumed by his flame for a lifetime.

Become all flame.

Becoming All Flame | Citydesert

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