A member of a certain Lodge, who previously attended meetings regularly, stopped going. After a few months, the Master decided to go and visit him. It was a chilly evening, and the Master found his Brother home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for the Master's visit, the Brother welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace, and waited. The Master made himself comfortable, but said nothing.
In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After several minutes, the Master took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth, all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, silent.
His host watched all of this in quiet contemplation. As the one, lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow, and its fire was no more. Soon, it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The Master glanced at his watch, and chose this 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 all the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the Master reached the door to leave, his host said, with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your fiery summons, my Brother. I'll be back in our Lodge next meeting."