I had just gotten back from the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.
All around the metroplex, fires had burned uncontrollably for
three days. Most of the fires had started out of sheer
carelessness. Tens of thousands of acres went up inflames. People
lost homes, livestock, farm equipment, cars, trucks, and a
lifetime of possessions and memorabilia.
We had been on fire alert for over a month here in Central
Texas. Imagine my shock as I'm pulling of IH 35 one evening, and
a car blows by me on the access road and the passenger tosses out
a cigarette. I couldn't believe it. The cigarette sent up a
shower of glowing embers with each bounce. Each bounce brought it
closer to the dry grass on the shoulder.
How could anybody be so stupid? How could they risk disaster
for so many people with such carelessness? With all that had been
on the news, I couldn't believe anyone would still be so brazen.
I slowed to make sure the grass didn't catch fire before I made
my way home.
Then it hit me. Daily we carelessly toss around inflammatory
words --thoughtless sarcasm, an ugly tease, a downright put down,
an intentional cut, a deliberate shaming. These words,
thoughtless or intentional, do as much damage to the hearts of
those we know than as those carelessly started wildfires in north
central Texas did several weeks ago.
By the time I made it home, I was no longer indignant with
the careless act of a commuter. Instead, I was convicted that I
have done much the same thing with the hearts of those I love.
Words are such a precious gift. I vowed to be more careful with
the words I use. There is too much at stake in the hearts of
those I love to hurt them in needless and careless ways.
"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a
small spark. The tongue is like a fire." James 3:5-6
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