Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Summons Silenced


 
A member of a certain Lodge, who previously attended meetings regularly, had stopped going. After a few months, the Worshipful Master decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening, and the Worshipful Master found his brother at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for the Worshipful Master’s visit, the brother welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The Worshipful Master made himself comfortable, but said nothing.
In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After several minutes, the Worshipful Master took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth, all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
His host watched all of this in quiet contemplation. As the one, lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow, and its fire was all but gone. The brother soon reached out and put the ember back into the flue’s draft.  He then scooped up the other embers with the ash shovel and put them in an ash bucket, closed its heavy lid down upon it, and sealed them off from the natural draft.  He sat back and enjoyed the warm glow of the remaining ember, now flared up in brilliant glow due to the swift flow of the flue draft.
The Worshipful Master raised his eyebrows but remained silent.  After a while he glanced at his watch and chose this time to leave. He slowly stood up, removed the lid to expose the cold dead embers that were sealed away, and placed them back in the flue draft with the glowing ember. As they were exposed to its warm heat, they sprung to live and began to glow once more and with all the light and warmth of the one burning ember that had remained in the flue’s draft.
As the Worshipful Master reached the door to leave, he turned to the brother and said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your fiery response, my brother. I’ll make sure we make the necessary changes before I visit with you again.”
-- Brother John S. Nagy
(with sincere appreciation to both the original and the unknown authors*)
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* The Silent Summons (Based upon "The Lonely Ember**")

   A member of a certain Lodge, who previously attended meetings regularly, had stopped going. After a few months, the Worshipful Master decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening, and the Worshipful Master found his brother at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
   Guessing the reason for the Worshipful Master’s visit, the brother welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The Worshipful Master made himself comfortable, but said nothing.
  In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After several minutes, the Worshipful Master took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth, all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
   His host watched all of this in quiet contemplation. As the one, lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow, and its fire was no more. Soon, it was cold and dead.
   Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The Worshipful Master glanced at his watch and chose this time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember, and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately, it began to glow once more, with all the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
   As the Worshipful Master reached the door to leave, his host said, with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your fiery summons, my brother. I’ll be back in our Lodge next meeting.”

-- Author Unknown

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The Lonely Ember by Dr. John MacArthur

  A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.
  After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
  Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
  After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.
  As the one lone ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and "dead as a doornail."
  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
  Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
  As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."
 

6 comments:

Brad said...

Brother, I am a little slow sometimes, but I understand the part about the one ember being separated from the fire...(not going to lodge could cause your fire to go out?) But putting the others in a separate container made their fire go out?) perhaps you could shed some "more light" on this for me...Thanks

David Bowman said...

What is wrong with this analogy is plain to see. If a lodge is doing what it should, and offering to its members what it should, there will be no need for the WM to go visit members who have dropped out. The reason these members dropped out is simply because it was the lodge that stopped giving its members those things for which they joined. Give them Freemasonry, and they will come.

Coach John S Nagy said...

Sure Brad...

Lodge rooms suffocate those who enter when they are cut off from that which supports life.


Coach John S Nagy said...

David Bowman...

Are you saying the analogy is wrong or agreeing that the analogy is pointing out what is wrong?

David Bowman said...

It seems to me that the "story" suggests that the brother left for no reason. And the WM saw the solution as simply bringing that member (ember) back to the fire. What the WM was missing is this: If the Lodge (the fire) was giving the member (ember) what he needed, the member would not have left. Of course, it is possible that the Lodge is giving the members what it should, and this member simply lost interest. If that is the case, then returning will not fix the problem. Too often we are scolded for not going to lodge. But then, when we DO go to lodge, we find that it is nothing more than a cheap plate of spaghetti, followed by a boring business meeting, with never any Masonic light being offered. I think that Dwight Smith said it best in his little book "Whither Are We Traveling?" He said, after we have tried everything else, and all has failed, why not try "Freemasonry." I agree.

Coach John S Nagy said...

David Bowman...

That was the point of the allegory rewrite. We are not getting what we went there for. However, the one ember that stayed in the flow, gets it all the time.