I always thought that fire and ice
could never so much as exchange a nod
without one destroying the other.
Polar opposites—
one frigid, the other flaming.
But I’ve found that sometimes
a forest fire can befriend a shard of ice
and melt deep enough to soften a frozen mindset,
and sometimes
a handful of words can freeze and burn,
shaking the core of a rickety view.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
I can feel fingernails dig into cold palms
as my hands clench together in shaky uncertainty.
The words are a candle,
dripping down on the ice of my doubt.
I want to believe them,
but my fingers are tightly clasping the ice,
and writing poetry is so much easier than watching it melt.

“By His wounds we are healed.”
I can feel skepticism beginning to thaw
as thoughts begin to kindle and flicker.
His,
not mine.
Mine do nothing; add nothing.
Every word
seems to whisper of blood that cannot be bought
and grace that need not be given,
but is mine
despite it all.

“I have written your name on the palms of My hands.”
I can feel the words soak into me,
their warmth running down frozen cubes,
becoming a mixed puddle of water and wax.
He holds my name,
the letters forming a single pierce
eternally graven in each hand.
These are the wounds that matter.

But while the snow is blowing wildly,
piercing the earth with icy unbelief,
the sun remains—
and if I can believe
that the world still shows a trace of a smile,
how much more faith would it really take
to melt my ice
and believe that You love me?

I pull my sweater closer around my shoulders
and closer to my hands.
The world is still so cold—
but I have a flickering fireplace of promises
to find refuge in a blinding snowstorm.
I have the unwavering warmth
of my Savior’s love.
I may still shiver as the biting frost stifles my candle,
but as I watch it reignite,
I will realize again that I always did.