Still, I resist. I am afraid. I turn to run, but where can I go. He’s everywhere I look. His fire calls to me; it beckons: “Come and die that you might truly live.”
“I am alive,” I retort, but it’s a lie. I’m not even sure what “life” is, but I know I haven’t got one.
I am alone yet surrounded by others fleeing the flame. It’s hard to tell where we’re running in the darkness, but we can’t stop lest we be consumed. Some have surrendered to His fire, and from the depths of the inferno, they plead with us who run: “Turn back! Turn back! That’s the road to destruction. Turn back!”
I laugh. How can I not? They’ve given up everything to the Arsonist, and they have the audacity to lecture me for running? I call them names. I tell them to put out the flames. I tell them to run with me, with us. We can outrun the fire in His eyes. It’s easy, way more easy than confronting Him.
I don’t know how it happens exactly. I’m sure if I look back at the path I’ve taken it would make sense, but somehow I . . .
Lying on the ground, I know I’m broken. There’s no coming back from this one. I’ve done too much damage. I look up and see two feet like molten bronze in front of me. It’s the Arsonist. He’s finally caught up with me.
“I’ve never left you,” He says. His voice is like leaves in the breeze. He reaches down and pulls me to my feet. And for the first time, I pause and look deep into the fire in His eyes.
It’s love. Burning. Passionate. Zealous. Obsessive. Love.
The fire burns for me.
It burns in me.
I’m baptized in it.
And then the water comes. It’s alive, pouring out of the Arsonist like a flood, but it doesn’t douse the flames; it fans them. Suddenly, I’m ablaze in love. I can’t contain it; it’s bubbling over like a volcano ready to blow.
So, I go. I tell them about Jesus. I tell them how He wants to set their world on fire, so they don’t burn it down. Some turn. Others do not. And my tears mingle with the Arsonist’s. Oh how I wish they could know the heights and depths of the flames of His love.
For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)