The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.  Abigail Van Buren

One day a member of a spiritual community who participated regularly just stopped attending. After a month the minister decided to visit her. Guessing the reason for his call, she welcomed him in and offered him a chair by the fire. He made himself comfortable, and together they watched the fire dancing around the logs. After a time of reflection and silence, he got up, picked up one of the burning logs with the tongs, and placed it away from the fire. Returning to his chair they watched as the log slowly lost its radiance and glow and eventually died. Not a word had yet been spoken when the minister looked at the clock and indicated he had to go. He got up, returned the cold log to the fire, and they watched as the other embers immediately brought the life and glow back to it. As the minister went to the door, his hostess got up, gave him a big hug, and thanked him for his message—she said she’d heard him loud and clear, and she’d see him next week at services.

Sometimes when the routine of life knocks you off course, you might think you’ll find some extra time if you give up your spiritual practices. But when you feel depleted and tired, a community has a central flame that blesses you, and a love that can rekindle and awaken your spirit when it goes into slumber. The more you isolate yourself when you’re feeling down, the wider the chasm becomes. The gift of community is the energy and love it offers you in the downtimes. Don’t remove yourself—reach out and know the fire burns with more light when you are there to receive your blessings.

Spiritual Contemplation: Do you have a spiritual family from whom you’ve withdrawn? Drop back in and see if there is still fire there for you.

Affirmation: My life is brighter with a community!