A New Word
When I opened the evening reading, I did a double take: SMOORING(?)(!)
What on earth?
Reading the first sentence — The Christian’s journey is a succession of advances and halts —hooked me.
Then, with the next I took the bait: It isn’t God’s plan we always go ahead full speed.
If anything, some days I feel I am in reverse — not only going nowhere, but feeling a wee bit like losing more than a bit of ground.
When the comfort, light and fire of love for which we pray is removed, Richardson Wright writes in my go-to evening reading, the halts test our faith.
But, what does that word, smooring, mean?
So, here’s where Richardson Wright offered a bit of balm with a social history lesson from former times:
“Never damp the fire of the Spirit.” Never put it out. Back it, keep it alive.
Wise householders, before they retire at night, cover the burning fire place logs with ashes.
This is called “smooring.”
In old times they said a smoking prayer, asked that the fire be kept alive overnight.
The next morning they brushed aside the ashes—and there was the beginning of a new fire. When the nights of the soul approach, nights of uncertainty and doubt, smoor the fire.
To be weak and foolish in spending our time and fortune, is no greater a mistake than to be weak and foolish in relation to our prayers— William Law (A Book of Days for Christians, Richardson Wright, page 88-89)
Putting the New Word to Use
Smooring preserves the fire; the Psalms are an excellent preservation tool, like the first two verses of Psalm 92.
Our bodies change as we age; as do our spirits. We must guard against our hearts becoming bitter and brittle by praying for the grace to abide in Christ and bear the fruit of steadfast love and faithfulness to others, even when it is costly. (Aging with Grace: flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, page 36)
My Own Smoking Prayer
Lord, God, rest me from the blazes of emotion that flared today; the pain of losses; the fears my imagination can ignite. Cover me with the reminders of how You have cared, what You promised and how You have delivered me time and again.Keep me alive over this night. And please dear Savior, save and keep my loved ones.( Psalm 34 )
Happy Easter, Dear Reader!