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TITLE: All Consuming
By Leigh MacKelvey
10/19/06
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All Consuming

Her eyes focus on the wooden plaque hung between the many photos of former students. The Teacher of the Year award, once a reminder of the potential she found in every student, only angers her now. She removes the plaque and places it face down on a table. Once she felt fire dance within her, crafting innovative ideas, igniting motivation in the minds of children. Her fire had been extinguished by standardized testing and new laws which replaced teacher creativity with impossible mounds of paperwork. Rarely does she see even a spark in the eyes of her students, only hollow apathetic holes, their fire smothered by broken families and the mind numbing violence.

And the fire-fighters of Education congratulate themselves on a job well done.

His eyes focus on the wedding picture on the side bureau. He picks it up, places it face down in the brown packing box. Once he was a dapper groom and she, a pink cheeked bride and their love blazed like a bon-fire so bright they thought it would never go out. But mounting bills, lack of time, the demand of family and jobs made them forget to stoke the fire, dimming their commitment. She found another man and he packs the picture to carry with him to his new apartment nearer his job. Now the children will spend the school months with her, summer vacation with him.

And the fire-fighters of Marriage and Family tip their jugs in a toast of victory.

Their eyes focus on the cross above the altar. They take the wafer and place it on their tongues, thanking Christ for His body broken and His blood poured out for them. At times the fire of the Spirit burns brightly within. Other times it is dimmer. But they know it is there...not a feeling, but a real fire, never to die, never to be put out, never fully
extinguished.

And the fire-fighters of the Body of Christ turn away in discouragement because
God is an all consuming fire.
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