A member of a certain Masonic lodge, who previously had been attending meetings regularly, stopped going. After a few months, the Worshipful Master decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The Worshipful Master found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his Master’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The Worshipful Master made himself at home but said nothing.
In the grave silence he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the Worshipful Master took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a bright 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 of this in quiet contemplation.
As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then 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 realized it was 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 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 visit and especially for the fiery lesson. I shall be back in lodge next month.”
Author unknown. Reprinted from Leamington Lodge’s September 2004 summons.