(For All Who Consider Themselves Failures, the Story of Peter)
There is a sadness when a fire dies. Till then it was licking flames. It was brilliant. It gave light and warmth. But as you watch, slowly the glow fades. But then you suddenly shudder. It is not the fire outside. But it is in you. It is dying.
The cold. How did it get in? How did it blow out the fire? It was your own negligence. You forgot to pile the wood. You forgot to fan the flame. You thought that the fire will last. But you forgot that the night would come.
But then you sat outside. You tried to appear to them as if everything was fine. You sat with them around the fire. But then the light fell on your face. They asked you, “Were you not with Him?” You answered: “I do not know the One you are talking about.” But your speech betrayed you. You were talking the language that He taught. So they were wondering how you could be with them when He was being led away to death.
The cock crew. It was not then, but now. Did you hear? Look, the Man looks straight into your eye! Is your heart so cold as not to be broken by that look? Have you forgotten to cry?
His look is not one of condemnation; but of compassion. You can’t believe it; can you? Even at the time of your denial, He loves you. His look is one of understanding. He knows that at this moment you are being sifted like wheat. But He sees your heart which cries; where the fire has died down.
But He will come back. This time His power will strengthen you. In spite of your bitter failure, He still has a plan for you. He will light a fire in many cold hearts through you.
Hey, there is a fire burning on the beach. It is Him. One last question: “Do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord, You know that I love you!”
The fire had begun to burn again. Never to die!