A couple of years ago I took a page in a book called Creativity by Matthew Fox and made a “found word” poem.

“Story is fire, heat, warm, food.

Creativity is essence, empowerment.”


This weekend I spent some time with Judy Sorum Brown’s poem on the same topic.

I first encountered Judy Brown’s poem at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Contemplative Retreat in 2012. That retreat was led by Dorisanne Cooper who prepared a small booklet with some poems and scripture texts. I found that booklet last week when filing some papers and decided to take it with me on a weekend trip to Austin. I knew there would be some “down time” when my son would be busy with other responsibilities and a visiting friend. I decided to take this book and to meditate on this poem and some of the scriptures.


FIRE by Judy Sorum Brown


What makes a fire burn

is space between the logs.

a breathing space.

Too much of a good thing,

too many logs,

packed in too tight

can douse the flames

almost as surely

as a pail of water would.

So building fires

requires attention

to the spaces in between,

as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build

open spaces

in the same way

we have learned to pile on the logs,

then we can come to see how

it is fuel

and absence of the fuel


that makes fire possible.

We only need to lay a log

lightly from time to time.

A fire


simply because the space is there,

with openings

in which the flame

that knows just how it wants to burn

can find its way.



Matthew Fox, Judy Brown and I are noticing similar things about the power of creativity and the value of nurturing it.

This weekend had “space between the logs”and the spaces made the time with my son – and my time with God – far richer.

Give the fire in you room to move and grow.