When the life of a fellow Flicker started to fade beyond clarity and brilliance, I intervened.
His wife had unexpectedly announced that she was leaving him for the lack of her love was no longer worth the battle. Embittered, he began to wilt and display significant withdrawal and rightly so.
His Flicker was deprived of the fuel it needed and so the brilliance started to fade into soft glow of a dying star. The whole congregation witnessed that something was deceptively different about our friend.
The soft glow was fading out and the passion left his eyes. No longer was he the member of our community that engaged others and watched over those without protection. His ember, now, was fading into oblivion. Within a month, he was quite the coal that nobody expected. He lost love, life, energy, and the desire that was so imperative to his thriving existence.
We sat for hours, every week, during these critical days. I watched as my friend, my Flicker lost his way, and spiraled down. He stopped coaching little league, he stopped volunteering time at the Community Center„ he stopped enjoying everything in his life.
One afternoon, when we were sitting, looking out over the town park, he saw a little girl he knew riding a bike. He commented without any hint of passion in his voice, “Guess she finally learned to ride that thing,” and looked vacantly at her doing circles on the parking lot pavement. Then she fell.
Without thinking twice, he bolted up and ran full speed toward her. Picked her up as he witnessed he bloody, skinned leg, and started to run her toward her home.
I arose from the seat with a start and embraced the collapsed bike, picked it up and followed after my friend.
When we arrived at the child’s house, he rang the bell a half dozen times quickly until the mother came. When she did, he gently handed her and explained what he had seen. Offering the only wisdom he could, he strongly suggested that the child may not be ready to be left alone…on the bike.
As we walked away, he started to tear up and turned to me. “She’s gone, and I couldn’t have fixed it.”
"I know," I offered calmly.
But, my Flickers passion has an interesting way of regenerating the focus of one’s life. And the Anger? Well, the tool is always there waiting as long as it isn’t denied…
"I’m so angry," he finally admitted. "That child should never have been left alone. She’s a good kid, but not ready to go it alone… and neither am I!"
His melancholy shifted to a subtle smile. His shoulders hunched, and for the first time in a long time, the coal started to accumulate warmth…. only time will tell if it is enough warmth to re-ignite, but I believe, as a I walked away, that I saw an ember screming to be born.