A member of the NA program, who previously had been attending meetings regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, his sponsor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening and the sponsor found the sponsee at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his sponsor’s visit, the sponsee welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. His sponsor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence,he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the sponsor 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, still silent. The sponsee watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then it’s fire was no more seen, it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the sponsor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the sponsor reached the door to leave, the sponsee said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I’ll see you at the meeting in the morning.”
— Author Unknown