Bring the bitter boughs:
throw them on the fire of Love
until they burn sweet.
(Message that came to me during Meeting for Worship while visiting Chatham-Summit Meeting: a haiku version of an image that first came to me at a Powell House retreat on “Dealing with Difficult People.”)
Seated around a virtual campfire, we were asked what about ourselves we’d like to throw in. My bitterness, I thought. If I were to throw that in the campfire it would be a log heavy with bitter sap. But the campfire, the refiner’s fire, isn’t just destructive but transformative. What began as bitter is broken down and made anew as sweet-smelling smoke.