When I wrote the title I was thinking of colour, not fire, but as I write I realise that, in a strange way, this is about both. Many of you will know that I dye. I combine colours on threads and fabrics in a variety of ways and try to produce new combinations and patterns. Some of the are sold on Etsy, but I have other outlets too.
Roughly speaking, this is the process. First ‘virgin’ yarns are prepared. Next they are introduced to the dye. This isn’t permanent at this stage, it needs fixing, so that’s the next process. Rinsing comes after this and finally they are prepared for sale.
Some time ago I was working on a batch when I suddenly realised that this is very like our walk with the Lord. When we first come to know him we are totally naked for the first time in our lives. There is nothing from before, and nothing from ‘after’ just like the unbleached threads I use. Our first few steps with Him soak up as much as possible; our spirits responding as they thirstily reach out for him. This is easy to see in the dyebath, the colours flood into the threads then mix and mingle to produce strong vibrant shades. Similarly, as we read the Word we change and become new beings and as we read on, our faith is ‘fixed’ in a similar way to the dye.
Next comes the rinsing. I’ve spoken about the dye being ‘fixed’, and maybe I’ll do a post about that at some point (now is not the time to go into the niceties of dyeing), but although this has happened it is at this very moment of rinsing that the whole process is at its most vulnerable. As long as the items from the dyebath stay together throughout the initial rinsing all is well. However, should they even slightly touch another unrinsed batch, contamination will occur and colour from one selection will transfer to another.
This is also true with new Christians. Without proper grounding it is easy to be contaminated by the ways of the world. If we don’t keep our eyes on the goal ahead and listen to only one Voice we can so easily go astray. It is also like playing with fire, we will get burned if we don’t observe the rules, the rules are there for our own protection.
‘Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings’. (Colossians 2: 20-22)
This isn’t the end of the process, though. My threads are then twisted into skeins for sale. Like us, they are now ready to move on and out into the world. We mustn’t forget that we too colour and decorate the world in which we move. Once we have taken the step and accepted Christ as our Saviour there is no going back. We are there for all to see. Don’t fight it – accept your commission and allow yourself to be stitched into the fabric of life.
Thank you Lord, you have accepted me, and you continue to accept me even when I struggle.