K – Kindling



kin·dling [kind-ling]
1. material that can be readily ignited, used in starting a fire.
2. the act of one who kindles.


Good campers know to keep the kindling dry. Without it, starting the warming fire would be difficult. Denser small bits of small dry wood or even lightly rolled news sections hold the flame better though crumpled paper or shavings more easily catch the spark. Enough of the right kindling aids in building a steady flame for the denser but more substantial logs.

We sometimes undervalue the smaller actions in our lives, wanting bright powerful movements to characterize our faith and life. We look for long term gain, stature in a community, public recognition of the worth of our actions. As writers we might notice our stats, count the followers, check the sale charts for a book, watch for others citing our words. As much as I write because it is something I do for me, I am not immune to this longing for notice, the longing to be a flame that will burn bright and long.

But what if we looked at our words and our writing another way ? What if my words form a small shaving, a tiny twig or branch, even that wad of thrown away paper, seemingly discarded as worthless? And what if those words take root in someone’s mind or heart and connect to other things they have read or heard? What if my contribution was just that piece of kindling necessary to create the flame that would ignite their passion, their hope, their joy? What if, my contribution, so small it isn’t recognized, made the difference for someone?

It can happen either way. That spark I help ignite can light that fire of joy, but can also create that one extra spark that can lead to anxiety. What if, I accepted the reality that the words I say or write and the thing I do actually matter?

I hadn’t seen her for months. Half a year earlier she had helped me open up at the blackest moments for my soul. In that place my faith had been a tenuous thread holding on to a God of unseen footsteps in a storm I could hardly weather.

DSC05406“I want you to know I became a Christian,” she told me.

“Tell me about it,” I queried.

“I just couldn’t forget how you believed God was with you even when you were darker than I had ever gone. I wanted to know a God like that so I started searching.”

Sometimes those broken fragile places in our lives provide the driest kindling. If I am willing to live the laments of my faith as well as praise, what else might God be able to do with my broken places?


10 thoughts on “K – Kindling

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      I am not worried about my own writing. I have had this experience and wonder if sometimes we need to ask new questions about what we are doing and the power of our words.

  1. Laura Hile

    I am speechless, Linda, at the thoughts you’ve put together for this post. Dry and broken kindling is the best fuel, and only God can use our weaknesses for His glory. Thank you for this encouragement.

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Thank you, Laura. I just can’t help but celebrate all those who add kindling in my own life and the ways I have been allowed to be the kindling for others.

  2. Linzé Brandon

    Our words matter, and your post shows that. But it is not just the words, it is the emotions, feelings, the caring behind them that counts most of all. We see long term as our lifetime, but our Creator has no time limit, and even words we think are lost now, may need to be written for someone after we are no longer there. Thank you for this post, I needed to be reminded of this again.

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      You never know when it is your words or your actions that are the ones someone needs. There are many strangers that have blessed my life with a word, a smile, a hand on a shoulder, even the giving or a seat, so many blessing I can’t even count them all.


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