When The World is On Fire…

I’d be shocked that it’s been more than a year since I wrote on this blog, but… 2020.

There is so much to say and so much not to say. I’ve written a couple blogs in my head. I’ve scribbled lots of thoughts down. I’ve wondered and wondered and thought and thought. But, now, as the winter days settle in and everything feels so different and so familiar at the same time, I am struck with one thought:

Be rain to a burning world, not wind.

It feels like the world is on physical fire. And it has been. Wildfires have ravaged continents and coastlines. The middle of the country has been burned and scorched. Places where wildfires haven’t cropped up, hurricanes and tornados and storms have destroyed and dismantled. There is devastation everywhere, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up.

The world is on emotional fire. Emotions are at a boiling point. Elections. Social Media. Protests. Hurts. Humiliations. Fear. Exhaustion. Uncertainty. Emotional fires have played out in horrible words spewed at those that think differently. Never has the ugliness of who we could be as a people been so apparent. We’ve lost the ability to be cautious with our words. We’ve stopped weighing their impact. We’ve gotten callous and horrible with each other, each so sure of our rightness we’ve stopped acknowledging we might be wrong. Words are pouring gas onto the fire, and the flames are raging.

The world is on spiritual fire. Never has faith been so polarizing. So dividing. So filled with animosity and the “I’m right, and you’re wrong” rhetoric. My faith is under fire. Your faith is under fire. We are judged, and we are the ones doing the judging. Our brothers and sisters of color are fighting a hard fight, and their souls are weary. We are tasked with holding them up, strengthening them, and helping the world see their value and beauty.

The flames are lapping at our ankles, at our knees, at our bellies. We are consumed by hurt and division. We are enduring a literal plague. We are bullied for our choices (or lack there of). We are divided along party lines, along opinions lines, along color lines. We are stretched to the point of breaking.

We are begging for relief. Any relief. Fires eventually burn themselves out. At some point, there is nothing left to burn. But the cost is often too much. Life. Love. Hope. We can sit by and watch the fire burn, or we can do something.

So, what are you going to do? Be a welcome rain or a fanning wind?

Rain calms and cools. Rain heals cracked land and brings new life from dead soil.
Rain diminishes the flames as clear drops cover the burning embers.
Rain promises renewal, even when it’s torrential.
Rain clarifies. Clears. Restores.

Wind spreads the flames.
Wind sweeps the good and the bad up together.
Wind gives oxygen to the fire, makes it grow.
Wind helps things burn until there is nothing left to catch flame.

Both wind and rain are important in their own time. But today, I’m choosing to be rain. I’m choosing to lessen the flames and not stoke the fire. What’s your choice?