test of fire I’m standing in the mirror and poking at the puffy skin beneath my eyes. It’s squishy.

Yesterday is coming back to me and I think about how I passed through the valley of the shadow of death. That was it, wasn’t it?

With an exhale I release the thought that the bags under my eyes will go away with the prodding of my finger. And then His name just seems to tumble out.

Jesus.

Like my soul knows it’s not really my puffy eyes that are bothering me.

On days like today the most gripping desire is the one for Jesus to come back. The little children run to Him. And there are no more tears.

I think,

“You should come back now.”

But it’s time to go and so I leave the cares about the bags under my eyes at the mirror. But I take His name with me.

I step off the van again. I watch as Traci bends and embraces her sponsored child.

test of fire

And then I know, there’s still more work to do.

Another thought stirs up in me, the one about how one day all my works on this earth will go through the fire. And those works, they will burn and bring loss. Or endure and bring reward.

…their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. –1 Corinthians 3:13-14

So I stick that thought in my cheek and work it like gum. And I follow Traci to her sponsored child’s home.

test of fire

Cesar tugs at her and hugs her. He smiles so big. He talks to her even when the translator is not around. He just stays there, right next to her.

test of fire

As we walk back I unclench my jaw. Forgetting that I’ve been chewing that thought. The thought that things I do will pass through fire.

As we wind another dusty road, I stand behind Cesar. I watch him as he carries everyone’s water. He truly is a gentleman. And he won’t leave Traci’s side.

The roll-a-dex of my life appears in my mind. A list of things that will not survive the fire unleash. Simple things but worthless things. I don’t feel condemned. I just see.

In the midst of it all one image shows up. This will pass through the fire and survive, unharmed.

My sponsored child. This is a good, good work.

I keep Traci and Cesar in focus the rest of the day. Because his need, his most felt needs, are being met. By a woman with dark hair and a soft hand. So he clings to her. And thanks her. Even though today was the first day they met.

Yes, there is work to be done.

Work that will pass through a fire.

*Read more about Traci meeting her sponsored child.


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  1. Jun 20, 2013
    at 8:46 am

    You sure are helping each one of us put things in perspective this week Brianne! I just love what you are writing, I pray that many people are moved by what each one of you on the trip is sharing, to sponsor a child and help to change the story for one child and his/her family. It really is that simple, one child at a time.

  2. Jun 20, 2013
    at 6:01 pm

    so many things seem to bother us, distracting from the true heart of the matter…
    we ache, raw where God rubs on our spirits…

    praying for you all, strength in the fire

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