My earliest memory is of padding out to the cool gray kitchen in my footie pj's, the plastic grips making little sucky noises on the cold linoleum as I went in search of anyone awake at that hour. I remember climbing up into my mother's lap as she sat at the little hall desk and seeing that she was reading her Bible. Her glasses were off; she had been praying with her hands to her eyes.
There were heavy whorls of frost on the window next to us, and a frigid shiver from the seams around the front door snuck around the draft blocker, but I was warm in her arms, her chin on the top of my head, and she prayed out loud that morning what I know she has prayed silently for me every day of my life.
Warmth that had nothing to do with the temperature in Wisconsin, that winter or this one, sprang to life and still warms me thirty-plus years later.
If there is a fire kindled in my soul, it is because my parents prayed it there, beseeching God without shame, like the importunate widow from Luke 18. That He would send the Holy Spirit to illumine their children.
Set fire to frozen, already apathetic hearts
Melt the icy wall of sin that separated us from fellowship
Woo us back to the warmth when we stray, prone to wander as we are.
My earliest memory is of that fire.
Now I join my prayers to theirs for their grandchildren. No greater legacy, no sweeter tradition, nothing of more value could ever be passed down than the fire of a holy God burning in their hearts. Make it so, Father, illumine them, I beg You. Cause the flames to leap high, and dance brilliantly, and burn off the dross. An unquenchable, un-hideable fire.
The Light of the world, shining from their hearts. And mine.
Make it so, Father. Make it so.
What are you praying over your children and grandchildren for in the new year? Do they know their mother or grandmother prays for them? Do they see it? Do they hear it?
Do they know it?