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