This One Brief Life We Have to Offer – Some Briefer Still

So, I’m thinking about my brother, John the Baptist – the fire burst of his young life and the tragic waste of his death at the order of a narcissist and his self-indulgent sister-in-law bedmate.

And I’m listening to a speech by my brother Chadwick – the whirlwind power of his young life and the tragic waste of his death to a disease that entered this world when my sister Eve and my brother Adam made the choice for us all to go our own way and not God’s. Humanity and the world still reeling from our exile from the garden and the burden of weights we were not designed to bear.

But I cannot weep for their too early exits without gasping in awe at the power and impact their prophetic presence made in our midst,

that despite our ancestor’s expulsion from Eden, God has made a way and we can follow this road through Jesus to a life that is a flare, a bonfire, a tower of flame whirling to light the way for every person who wonders if this one life is enough –

Enough to make an impact, to be felt, to be seen, to be heard, to represent the city – the one to which we look, the one that informs our view and gives our eyes that far-off hope, that fuels us to press on despite every weapon forged against that will not stand – but we will – oh, by His Name, we will stand.

For John and Chadwick, though their lives were brief, they testify, they testify to a truth so potent just a blood drop is enough to disperse an oil-slick of evil in our times.

And they, like my sister, Betsie ten Boom, who gave her life to live like Christ in the face of the Nazi killing machine but whose voice rings out from those camps, through her sister, who when she struggled in Ravensbruck drew strength from Betsie’s faith that “there is no pit so deep, that He is not deeper still”

and we believe her words because the pit of those days was like the pits of hell. They testify through their lives and their voices echo on, spurring us, still, to yield

To yield not to the distractions, discouragements, disasters, or detractors of our day, but yield, instead, to be the fuel for our God who is a consuming fire and not to worry about the length of our light or the size of our flame because who knows if a person lost in the dark requires a floodlight or simply a matchstick’s flare – as long as we are that flame in their darkness and they find their way to Him, then the darkness is reminded that it is nothing – nothing, we testify – against even the briefest flicker of Light. And some of us must be that brief flame.

And in those moments when I am tempted to feel my smallness, when I bemoan the wasted hours, when I stand clutching my tiny offering of breath and talent and time and love against my chest while others deem it nothing compared to others that glitter like all the fineness the world can offer in our day,

then I will set my eyes above and see them standing on the wall of that city on the hill, with outstretched arms and shining eyes – Betsie, Chadwick, John – and so many more, beseeching me to dare to strike the flint with trembling hands and coax the kindle of my life to catch the fire that is the life of Christ within me

and who can deny the infinite power of even a fraction of our God?

And I will not stop to judge the size or the length of the light that my life casts but only rejoice that it is His light – the light of Him who spoke the world into being who shone in the universe before there was a sun or moon or stars and who set limits on the darkness,

And I will give myself over to Him, testifying with every breath, until I join them in that place that needs no light because it shines with the glory of God and they will say to me then,

“See, it did not matter how brief a time or how small our reach, but just that we were His and that eternity began in our souls on the day we knelt at His cross and received His grace and followed with all the strength and life we had to give. We burned so bright the darkness could end our lives but not the brilliant tracer of our testimony that continues to guide others in the Way.”

There is so much more ahead that we cannot see – but they have lit the way with the torchlight of their testimonies and all we have to do is continue to walk in the way and we, too, great or small, will shine like stars in the universe.


Is your heart fading? Do you wonder if you’ll ever be enough? Are your schedule and your to-do list out of sorts? Consider scheduling an appointment for Heart Rehab coaching – 4-6 sessions to find your WHY and revive your soul. This coaching course is available at the cost of whatever love offering you can provide – and if that’s zero, that’s okay, too. Email me at lorisroel@gmail.com. Take heart!

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Doug Stevens says:

    Your writing lights it up!

  2. Maureen Miller says:

    Oh Lori…
    This is beautiful and painful.
    Poignant and bittersweet.
    Mostly, your words are powerful and true—
    As they point us to TRUTH!
    Thank you!
    May I be but one blood drop…
    One spark!
    All for God’s glory and His purposes.
    ❤️

  3. Cathy Gohlke says:

    Amen and Amen. Thank you, Lori, for this reminder, this encouragement to keep on keeping on. May God bless you and lift you high as you continue to glorify Him–our all in all.

  4. Rob McCullough says:

    Lori, powerful words and boldly expressed, and we are in whole hearted agreement!!!

    Be Blessed, friend of God.

  5. Jan Clough says:

    Dear Lori as insignificant as we often feel, Our Heavenly Father sees us as mighty warriors when we are willing to be equipped by Him Amen!