A Message From Melissa Reinert, Communications Coordinator

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire…

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They’re so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire”

Last week, we made note of a spiritual side of a classic Garth Brooks song. Those non-country music fans, please hold on to your hats (well, you’re probably not wearing a hat if you’re not a country fan), but still bare with me. We’re about to do this again.

This time we’re going to take a look at “Standing Outside the Fire,” released way back in 1993. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Country Charts in 1994. It was also a success internationally and reached the top 30 of the UK singles charts, a rare feat for a country singer at that time.

This song also has a deep spiritual meaning and it offers a challenge to us who call ourselves Christians.

In the song, those who get by on their own, who never take the fall and risk everything for love are thought to be “cool” and “strong.” Those, on the other hand, “who chance the sorrow and the shame that always comes with getting burned” risk everything for love and are considered “weak” and foolish.

These mis-perceptions are still held almost 30 years after these words were written. We live in a society that admires the loners and questions the sanity of those who love freely. But loving freely aligns us with God’s will. After all, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to save whoever believes in Him (John 3:16).

And so, as believers, we’re called to be like those who are referred to as the “fools,” the “weak” in these lyrics.

God doesn’t want us on our own. In fact, He’s always with us, wherever we go. (Joshua 1:9). And He asks us to walk along side others. Not only are we to reach out and help where needed, but we are to “chance the sorrow and the shame” and love them – yes even the unlovable – even if we get burned. And honestly, you will sometimes. You are, however, in good company. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us: “… In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

When it gets too hot, dancing in the flame, remember that Jesus first loved you. Seeing “the slightest chance love might exist,” Jesus forsook it all and bared your sins on the cross. So, now, you CAN love others, if you are willing. Are you?

Are you willing to swallow your pride, give up your “status” and go to the darkest corners of the world and love others the way Jesus loves you?

I encourage you to live “so hell bent on giving, walking a wire, convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire.”