The Lonely Ember
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services
regularly, stopped going.
After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly
evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a
blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man
welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The
pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence,
he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up
a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all
alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched
all this in quiet fascination.
As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow
and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead
ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began
to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so
much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back
in church next Sunday.”