Speak Up –
I was pulling out of a parking space at the Dollar Saver when I saw this red 4 door sedan pull in. In the back was either an infant or toddler and in the front were two women smoking cigarettes, windows rolled up. I hit the brakes and debated on whether to say something, risk them getting upset and inform them or remind them that cigarette smoke is harmful, deadly to children. The debate didn’t last long, I couldn’t keep quiet. When they were out of the car I rolled down my window and said; “Excuse me. I wanted to tell you that smoking around a baby is not good. It really hurts them and you shouldn’t do it.” The driver said she had her window down. I don’t think she did but that doesn’t stop smoke and carcinogens from poisoning the child. I repeated myself again; “It’s really not good for the baby and can be very harmful!” Silence followed and then the driver said; “Thank you,” which I am sure was code-word for; “bugger off weirdo!” I pulled out of the parking lot not sure if saying anything did anything.
Most times in life we talk too much but there are moments when speaking; reminding, informing, reprimanding is a necessity. To not speak up is to miss an opportunity. We can’t choose the outcome of our words but we can choose to defend the helpless and those who cannot speak up, stand up for themselves.
Burning Brightly –
On Saturday I had some old mail, leaves, limbs and small pieces of wood to burn in our burn barrel. The leaves and limbs had been in the barrel for several weeks and had become damp from recent rains. I added a little fuel, lit a match and threw it onto the debris. The fire started almost immediately but it didn’t take long to burn up the fuel and the limbs and leaves on top. However, once it began trying to burn the damp portions in the barrel, layered and compressed in the barrel, there was a lot of smoke and eventually, the fire would go out. I added a little more fuel, some dry pieces of mail, struck another match and lit the fire again. I repeated this process several times until the fire in the barrel was hot enough to burn away the dampness and consume everything within.
In the same way, there are times in life when our spirits are damp, compressed, buried under layers of debris drenched by storms passed, times which make us feel the fire which burns within have been quenched with only the illusion of smoke remaining.
In these difficult times, when our souls seem filled with smoke, when it’s hard to see, hear or know there’s a flame burning inside we still don’t give up hope. We try, we wait, we listen, look and believe the fire will burn brightly once again.