On fires and home and feeling loved

Have you had the experience recently of walking past someone wearing perfume or aftershave
that was significant to you at a certain time? Just the faintest whiff can whip you out of the moment you are in and off to a memory. Smell is a powerful sense.

For me, the smell of wood smoke means home. It doesn’t so much take me to a specific memory, although there are many it could choose from, but it gives me a feeling- of comfort, security, being at home.

I had moved house 11 times by the time I was 12 (although technically the last move was
from the ground floor of a house to a flat on the floor above), and I continued to move through my teens and into adult life. Most of my childhood homes were heated by wood fires, but since I got married, it’s been radiators all the way.

Fast forward to our tour around our Surbiton house on the day of Shawn’s interview. The first thing I saw walking in was the fireplace in the front room. My heart leapt, and I think my level of enthusiasm and joy rather stunned our tour guide. The chimney was boarded up, but she kindly said she didn’t see why, if we got the job, they couldn’t look into having it opened up again.

Well, we got the job and they looked into it and it was bad, expensive news. The chimney was unlined and the hearth was illegally small. Do you hear the small violin playing a dirge for my dying dream?

You can stop playing now violin! An anonymous person in the church, hearing that a fire was inexplicably important to the new Associate’s wife, donated a huge whack of money and TODAY, as I type, our wood burning stove is being installed.

This fire is going to be a source of heat (possibly too much heat- we keep being told we are going to sit there sweating in our tee-shirts. Like that is a bad thing?). It is going to be an aesthetic focal point for the room. It is going to make our house smell like home. But even more than that, the fire says to me that God knows me, and cares for me, and loves me enough to prompt a kind stranger to donate cash to what might to many seem a frivolous cause.

Do you have any stories of God showing you love through the kindness of one of his people?

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