There’s Just Something about a Fire Pit

I stare into flames, watch them change shape, move the logs.

I watch the colors deepen, turning from red and orange, to white and blue hot, watch the purples play among the embers, feel the heat, the warmth, the peace, loving each flame.

I’ve come to the fire once again for renewal, reflection, for a communion of sorts. 

I’ve come to be with God, to feel His presence. I’ve come knowing that the Spirit comes with me, leading me to where I need to be.

I’m here, at one of my favorite places…a huge and roaring fire pit. Not just any fire pit, this is the one at the home of my long time, good friend, Cathy Dybdahl. 

Cathy and I were destined to be friends and neighbors.  I like to think I had a quirky hand in her becoming my neighbor. It’s a funny, weird little story of how God works in mysterious and sometimes humorous ways.  And it is a story of how he takes the smallest of things and uses them for good. That story is for another time.  

The important thing to know for now is that one of Cathy’s main purposes on earth can be distilled into 3 words: “Loving others well.” (Matthew 22:37-39) The fire pit plays a part in that. 

This is no easy purpose to uphold. It takes a strong person to live out those words in a fierce and faithful manner. Fierce and faithful are also words that describe her and the fire she offers in her own backyard. 

This particular fire pit has heard confessions of the heart from countless friends and family. It has been the scene of birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, “Bring your Adult Kids to the Fire” nights, Star Gazing by the FireLight, Friday night chill-out times, and even safe pandemic gatherings.  

It has been my own personal retreat…my place to be quiet, listen, or to speak out, speak up, to bask in the light of friends’ faces while the light and warmth of the fire pinks up our skin and makes everyone feel 10 years younger.  

Often you will find a friend group, AKA, the Yayas, congregating around this friendly fire: Cathy, Judy Cook, Colleen Hamons, Loreta Martindale, and me.  I smile every time I think of these very distinctive, very wonderful women… rare, true friendship treasures.  

No matter who is present around the circle, it is always a place of raucous laughter, deep and cleansing tears, hugs and holding close of those who need it the most on any given night. 

Hearts are opened around the fire pit. People seem to be kinder, gentler, reaching out to connect with someone else’s pathos and chaos.  

People become good “neighbors” here, living out in real life what God asks of us for the eternal. 

Plans are always in the works to pray and care for those whose names are mentioned at the fire.  You can feel a part of a discipleship at this fire. Here… everyone matters. I belong here.  And so does each soul sitting within reach of the fire’s flames.

We long to belong! 

Love & Belonging constitute brick number 3 in the foundation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, right after (2) safety & security and (1) food, water, shelter. 

To actualize into the best we can be, we need all 5 of those foundational bricks.

To actualize spiritually we need holy fire.

The Holy Spirit calls us to transformative change, encourages and emboldens us to do and be the best that God intended us to be.

If you come to THIS fire to grow your faith, it is because the Holy Spirit has ignited that desire in you. A pathway from God to you exists. Your life’s path is designed and colored specifically from your own individual personality, your own DNA. 

Jesus is God with us. The Holy Spirit is God in us. 

He knows us inside and out. He knows what moves us. It is one of His many ways to speak to us, guide us, prompt us, protect us, check us, correct us, and at times hold a mirror to our faces for our own good. It’s always for our own good, and the good of others. He is in the business of divine transformation! 

He whispers to us in a breeze. 

He moves us with his mighty wind.

He speaks to us in the flames. 

He changes us by his fire.

He does everything in His power to reach us, speak to us, call us to action. He moves mountains in order to move our souls!  This is love everlasting!

All we have to do is listen, open our hearts and minds to him, surrender to his good and perfect plan for us. 

And, yes, sometimes we have to walk through fire here on earth. 

There’s no getting around that really. 

It’s hard, it’s painful, sometimes it’s even ugly. 

When we walk through fire we have two choices. We can succumb to destruction or we can let the flames change us in ways we never would have learned otherwise.

Walking through fire can cleanse us, refine us, purify us…make us into the person God sees when He looks at our hearts! 

The strength of overcoming makes us better people, more compassionate to others, stronger in many ways. 

And if we really lean in to the lesson, we can become mirrors to the world of how Christians are supposed to be here on earth. Not the tainted version of those who subversively use Christianity for their own cravings of power; who abuse the name of God in every self-serving action. No! Not those! 

Instead we can become the Christians whose main purpose is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves, reflecting the glory of Christ in our actions and words. We then become true followers of Jesus and all that He is. That is the end game of the Holy Spirit’s gift.

Holy Fire…powerful, personal, transformative.  

Draw close to the fire! 

Draw close to the One who knows how to create the best in you, how to transform every cell that makes up the unique in you and into the person He dreamed you to be. 

What a wondrous thing to be at one with God.

He writes your story in the flames. 

He offers a “new heart and a new spirit”.

That’s the wonder of God, the Three in One. 


Ezekial 36:26- “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

2 Corinthians 3:18- “We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil, we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Holy Spirit.”

2 thoughts on “There’s Just Something about a Fire Pit”

  1. Linda I finally sat down this morning to read your recent blogs and I’m so glad I did! Once again as they often do, your post about Cathy and Judys’s fire pit touched my heart as you described what our fire pit gatherings are all about as only you can do!
    I so love your entire post but especially the statement “No matter who is present around the circle, it is always a place of raucous laughter, deep and cleansing tears, hugs and holding close of those who need it the most on any given night. ”
    Thank you for this wonderful post and your unwavering friendship that has always been one of the greatest blessings in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

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