Today we are invited to contemplate the fireplace or hearth, a place of hospitality and welcome, and the mystrery that fire is as dangerous as it is wonderful, that it has potential to maim, kill and destroy, just as much as to warm, cook or create.
The photo is the fire I walked on last night - not when it was ablaze as seen here, but later when it was a mass of glowing embers. The two-hour long training session before the five second walk was amazing - we were under no illusions about the power and potential of very hot embers to injure if not treated with respect, and we were empowered to be a community for those few seconds when each of us boldly strode out.
So, to answer your questions, did it hurt? Nope, didn't feel a thing - other the than gravel round the edge of fire pit which was very ouchy on bare feet! Would I do it again - yes. What was the best bit... it was the time spent with 36 other people and a crazy, sweary, kind, motivational instructor who empowered and enabled us to do what seemed impossible.
The book wanted me to reflect on Lenten themes of penitence and resurrection, phoenixes and fires that refine. Perhaps those were there last night also. Certainly I came away with a spring in my step and hope in my heart... if Lent can do that too, then I will be very blessed.
Holy Spirit you came as fire to terrified men and women hiding away in an upstairs room. As you dwell in us, relight our own inner fire, we pray, that we may know our true worth and live our fullest lives. Amen.