Notes from Jan

Fireside Chat

October 18, 2019

To start with, Lucy’s seven, not the age of a sage. I’m more than ten times her age. So what can she teach me about  Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and the fiery furnace?  I know the story.

The first time I heard it, Mrs. Miller, my Sunday School teacher told it through  her amazing flannel graph board. This fall I’m studying the book of Daniel in Community Bible Study, no flannel in sight.

So what made Lucy’s drawing connect soul-deep?


Not Mrs.Miller’s fault I saw it  mostly as a heroic story with a miraculous ending.

As I aged, the miracle slipped into a stack of stories for kids.

Not that I don’t believe in miracles, I do.

Lucy’s mom brought the drawing to our group through her I-phone.  Something Mrs. Miller and I never imagined.  Lucy’s simple sketch showed five people and five words.

King Nebuchadnezzar stood, too close for comfort, staring into the furnace, sweating from more than heat, counting slowly one-two-three-four.  Lucy pictured the bewildered king yelling,  “What?!”

The three in the fire took a long look at the One who’d joined them.

Shadrach cried, “God!”

Meshach echoed, “God!”

Abednego added, “You came!”

And that’s the image prompting a look back on my life,  remembering or sensing many times God came!”

So many fires, furnaces, times of flimsy faith, timid trust, and still, God comes.

Hope hides, for me, in Isaiah 43:2-3? “When (not if) you pass through the waters, I will be with you, when (not if) you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God the Holy one of Israel, your Savior!”

When the heat’s on and hope wanes, take courage.

God loves showing up.

Sometimes, even through a child’s simply profound drawing.





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  • Reply Maggie Rowe October 19, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Jan, I am leading a women’s Bible study on prayer here in Stavanger and will share your post with them next week. What a wonderful way to express praise: “God, you came!” Thank you for continuing to share the insights God gives you from everyday life that most of us would miss.

  • Reply wendy lane October 19, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I love this. <3

  • Reply dale October 20, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    He not only wants to come, but never has far to travel – all good news.
    Your writings continue to be a blessing.

    Love, Dale

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