Dad’s 83rd birthday was a couple days ago. I wanted to write then, but our lives were beautifully busy with Dad’s grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was an epic five days. Thankfully, it’s never too late to honor your Dad, to resist the fading of memories. And when your eyes fill and the lump in your throat comes, you press into those memories. You write, you talk, you share, you remember him and his legacy. You can learn so much from a life that reads well, a life that made a difference in the lives of others. I want to remember the person Dad was. Sometimes I think I know him better now than when he was here with us. And that makes me grieve. Why is it that we fail to recognize that each moment is a memory in the making?
Mom is in the thick of writing a book. It’s the story of how God touch her and Dad, filling them with a fire that burned deep in their hearts. They carried this all consuming fire with them everywhere, not just to church. Whoever crossed their path felt the warmth of a life giving fire. Whether it was the kids they loved at Bible camp, their little congregation in Tampa, the Indians in the jungles of Suriname, the staff and residents of a nursing home or their friends and family, everyone was unquestionably touched by the love of Jesus.
There is something inspiring and centering when you look at a life from beginning to end, reading a story well written, full of struggles, hopes, sacrifices, dreams, adventure, heartache, and joy. Through it all you find the relentless beauty of God’s love and grace, fueling the fire and filling every twist and turn along the way.
A chapter of my parent’s life reveals an important lesson. Over the course of a few years and several expeditions, this consuming fire in their hearts led them to make contact with several groups of Akuriyo Indians, a stone age people who were becoming extinct. Fire was very important to these Indians. They could never let their fire sticks go out. As they roamed the jungle in search of food, they had to carry their fire with them. If their fire died out, so did they.
As I reminisce and remember Dad, and watch and walk alongside Mom, I am challenged. What kind of story am I writing with my life? Will it read well? Are there chapters that need some editing? Do my priorities reveal a fire that is about to go out? What fuels my fire? Acceptance? Worth? Fear?
As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to fuel the fire of God’s love in my heart with gratitude for all He has done for me. I do not want my grandchildren to question what I lived for. I want them to know. I want them to be inspired to walk with God and write their own book of fire.
12 thoughts on “book of fire”
you are so blessed to have had parents such as yours and i’m sure, because of their influence, you will be having the same kind of influence on your entire family. God bless you all…Can’t wait to read dear Evy’s book–such a sweet spiritual lady..
I love that photo of your dad. I consider it a privilege to have known him and your mom way back then. When I look at people like them, I am like you. What have I done that might leave a legacy here? I look forward to the book.
Looking at your picture with all your grands, I know just how you feel, they are so precious. I want the first one when Evie is done with it. We love you all. Be there in Feb. hope to see you all.
What a heartwarming post and wonderful pictures. Thank you so much. Yes, I think all of us need to get our stories written for our families. I am working on my grandfather’s genealogy and am amazed at what I am learning. Our heritage is so important in framing our future and future generations. I like the “fire”; we all need passion especially for God and His work here on earth.
Love to you and your mom.
Like Bev, I am so happy that I was priviledged to grow up at Calvary, where I witnessed first hand the ministry of your mom and dad. I remember the tractor being driven in to the old sanctuary that we surprised your parents with… all of the slide shows during they’re furloughs, welcoming you back home at the different stages of your childhood. The friendship that your parents had with mine, which even sparked my dad to make a stop in his small plane out in the jungles back in the 60’s. Like you I think about what I will leave as a legacy to my children and grandchildren, and I pray that God will help me to stay on the right path and shine my light for him in my latter years. I will be anxious to read the book as well. Much love to the family.
Anxious to read your mom’s book – I am blessed by you – thank-you for being a faithful friend.
Enjoyed the pictures! You look like your Dad & little Jaxson (did I get the name right? your oldest Grandchild), looks like you 🙂 Love your Mom & the writings I’ve read from both of you. Can’t wait for the book!
That is so precious. Thank you for sharing that with me. You indeed have not let your fire go out. You inspire all who read your beautiful word pictures to inspect their own life. Thank you.
Well written, mom. Love you and miss Pops!
Beautifully written, Ruthi! And love the pictures. Thanks! Great to hear about Aunt Evy’s book and we will pray for her as she continues to write.
Have read your letter several times over the last few days. You do well to have fire like your Mom and Dad had. That is a great goal.
I am laid low with a cold so taking time to answer some email!!
Keep on the firing line for the Lord (can you tell I lived through WWII). God has been good through the years both in the USA and Japan.
In His Love,
I just took a few minutes to visit your blog and enjoyed your pictures and comments about your heritage so much. I look forward to reading your mother’s book. You are an inspiring writer yourself and your gifts bring glory to God. You are a great blessing to our family. Thank you. We love you.
Dad and Mom (Sylvia) De Jong