Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire,

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

[Robert Frost, Fire and Ice, New Enlarged Anthology of Robert Frost’s Poems (Louis Untermeyer, intro and commentary); New York: Washington Square Press, 1971, p. 242]

Heat-of-the-moment or premeditated? A destructive act is world-ending, either way. A cursory glance at the news, with the violence of one against another encouraged or supported by those whose words and ideologies are spewed from a safe distance, remind me that fire and ice are not mutually exclusive in destruction.

In Biblical terms, hardness of heart brings about such things. Raising a hand against another in anger and the cold calculations designed to gain and maintain personal advantage at another’s expense spring from the same place: a heart without compassion.

God, help me this day to live with compassion in my heart. I’m not strong enough or wise enough to do it on my own. Please. Amen.

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from you body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26, NRSV


2 thoughts on “Fire and Ice

  1. Bill Albritton

    May our prayers be fervent and non-ceasing that Love will overcome hate and that the Holy Spirit will revive our compassion for one another across this nation and the world–and for family and friends.

    Chinese Proverb
    “If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”

    Edward Markham–“Outwitted”: “He drew a circle that shut me out–Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took him in!”

    22   Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
    as we have put our trust in you. (Psalm 33)


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