Fire and Ice, part 2

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, part 2]

I can’t say that I’ve ever destroyed anything or anyone in passionate fury. I’ve never been hijacked by such intense emotions. Crimes of passion, destruction and death delivered in the heat of the moment – I have been spared such fire.

I can’t say the same for ice. Every so often I’ve felt calculating, frozen fingers squeeze my heart, wringing out whatever compassion lay within it. No seeing red, just a clarity of thought without love or sympathy. Plans for destruction, the steps and the cost, so simple to take from idea to action. It’s the closest to hate I’ve ever been, and closer than I’d like to be again. It is the closest thing I have to a fatal flaw, this dispassionate and calculating persona. I’ve never unleashed it, but I’ve been tempted. What stopped me? I can’t say, exactly. A small voice that refused to be frozen into silence or the Spirit blowing warmth into my frosted soul. Whatever it was, I still get on my knees every so often and thank God for its love and sanity.

Save us from the time of trial. The Lord’s Prayer

Photo on 2015-02-12 at 08.27

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Fire and Ice, part 2”

  1. Ah–hijacked by intense emotions–great phrase and I know it’s good and bad sides. Temper is an interesting word and when I can move it with the grace of God from a noun to a verb I am truly grateful.
    Thanks Johnna.

    1. Thanks, Bill. Tempering destructive emotions rather than staying in a temper? I hadn’t thought about the verb/noun switch – but I will think of it from now on. Thank you! Peace, Johnna

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