Mary books

Monday, 29 August 2011

Ray on Monday - Smouldering Fireworks

In my very early teens we were able to purchase and explode fire-crackers almost without limit. Maybe the times were more naïve, uncluttered and definitely not as regulated. We had a bonfire in the suburban street and the neighbours gathered around for the ‘show’ and to enjoy some drinks and cake.

Bungers were the choice of the boys and not only reserved for exploding on Empire or Guy Fawkes night. On one occasion my mate and I were in the backyard with nobody else home. We blew up tins, ant nests and mock fortresses. When that was finished we went to a holiday movie.

The trouble was, one or more exploded crackers were smouldering in the grass. Whilst we were away one of them at least was fanned into flame. Fortunately neighbours spotted the fire and hosed it out before major damage was done.

I’ve often thought about that incident in my capacity as a preacher. How often we light various types of crackers and explode them into the lives of others. They might be small or big bungers with or without malicious intent. We say the unkind word, make facetious remarks, or laugh off a serious issue which has hurt another. We can walk away imagining once the verbal fireworks have gone off it is finished. Unfortunately many times the smouldering words cause serious harm to relationships, personalities, dreams or motivation.

I still have to beware of blithely turning words into explosives for I have a quick and often sarcastic ‘tongue.’ In the lives of some their tender hearts are similar to dry grass and easily set on fire. How I need wisdom to ensure I’ve pulled the fuse and hidden the matches when playing with words.

My manual for defusing verbal explosives says “To watch over mouth and tongue is to keep out of trouble.” Proverbs 27:23.

Ray (now cracker wise) Hawkins


  1. Great analogy Ray. Our words can start big fires if we'er not careful. Thanks.

  2. We may apologise for words sopken thoughtlessly and in anger too, but they are still there. Each time the memory of them rises up again they need to be dealt with, whether by forgiveness and increased determination to try and guard not only our tongues but our attitude and thoughts that lights the fuse so many times.