The first photo was an accident. Even so, I found it to be pretty. As if the outside rain came inside for a bit, yet I stayed dry. As if the flames in our fireplace were dancing all around, yet I was not burnt.

The second photo is what I see from my seat. It turned out a little better, but our new carbon monoxide detector is an eyesore. We might move it to a different plug, but I'm thankful for the contraption. No need to keel over from carbon monoxide here today.

We've really taken to our fireplace. The ceramic logs are fairly realistic and some mysterious substance below looks exactly like glowing embers. Granted, there is no lovely firewood smell, but we can burn the incense of our choosing as a remedy. Today, it is piƱon.

It is cold in Houston, folks. I could not get warm all morning, even under a blanket with slippers on my feet. We turned on the fireplace and wa-la: warmth. Last night, the cats' reactions, much like their personalities, were different. Milo watched the fire for a moment, intrigued, then curled into his soft bed with contentment. Harley walked right by the flames, pretending indifference, but he seemed nervous. Today, Milo is watching the flames from a stair step; Harley mustered up more courage, but he's still timid.

As I tried to warm up this morning, I read Ezekiel 8:2 (and following):

"Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire — from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber."

I was reminded of the mesquite fire at the Gristmill - it was quite a large, beautiful fire, not five feet away from our faces. Johnny and I remarked how the fire was so comforting, it made us feel safe. But if unleashed from the fireplace, if one flame licked our table, all hell could break loose in that rustic eatery. The Lord is beautiful; only in Him is comfort and safety. But as C.S. Lewis wrote of his great character Aslan the lion, "He is not safe, but he is good." God is also dangerous, but only if we do not obey Him.
(thankfully, mercy and forgiveness are also part of His nature)

And how good He is! I can just feel it today, His comforts surrounding. No drum lessons for Johnny today; he is busy upstairs with several productive endeavors. No big writing assignments for me, either. I'm grateful for an improved, more mature attitude, and for God's peace in this place. For His provision ~ I'm ordering a few birthday gifts. I've cozied up to good books, Throat Coat tea, and I'm pondering a short nap.

One of those good books is Prayers From the Ark and the Creatures' Choir by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold. I'll share with you the prayers of the cat and the bee.

"The Prayer of the Cat"

I am the cat.
It is not, exactly, that I have something to ask of You!
No -
I ask nothing of anyone -
If you have by some chance, in some celestial barn,
a little white mouse,
or a saucer of milk,
I know someone who would relish them.
Wouldn't You like someday
to put a curse on the whole race of dogs?
If so I should say,

[I want to interject here that this is funny, but Harley likes dogs. He was mostly raised in an animal shelter, so he's familiar with canines. He got along with my parents' dog Kujeaux quite nicely. Milo, I don't know. He was rescued from under a backyard shed, so he might act nuts around dogs.]

"The Prayer of the Bee"

I am not one to despise Your gifts.
May You be blessed
Who spread the riches of Your sweetness
for my zeal....
Let my small span of ardent life
melt into our great communal task;
to lift up to Your glory
this temple of sweetness,
a citadel of incense,
a holy candle, myriad-celled,
moulded of Your graces
and of my hidden work.

[I selected that lovely poem to try and understand what a bee might be thinking instead of, "Jenni is scared of me. I shall sting her now." And oh how I love (and miss) honey, and the scent of beeswax candles.]

[I confess: I ordered this print. I'm such a sucker for Jennifer Causey's work. That honey is the color of amber, too.]


allison said...

Your photos get better and better!

jenni said...

Thanks, Allison!