Where Bombs Come From

Today, one of my Facebook friends posted a short video that has been widely circulated. A portion of the heartrending recording shows two young Syrian boys grieving the loss of their brother, who was killed by a barrel bomb during an airstrike in Aleppo.

How can we do such horrific things?

Walking is one of my preferred forms of exercise. On a recent walk, I recognized the face of someone approaching from the opposite direction. He was not a friend. In fact, I knew only his face and not his name; but, it was a beautiful day, one that naturally lent itself to cordiality. So, as we drew near to one another, I nodded and offered a greeting. He returned my greeting, and we stopped to exchange pleasantries.

During our conversation, we discovered that we had a mutual acquaintance – a person who, in my experience, has always shown himself to be consistently thoughtful and kind. I mentioned that this mutual acquaintance was a really wonderful man. At that, my conversation partner paused briefly and then said: “Of course, not everyone would agree with you.”

When he uttered these words, I felt my heart drop in my chest. I asked no follow-up questions and quickly changed the subject. Our conversation soon ended, and we parted company.

The New Testament Letter of James offers a stern warning about the power of the tongue. In a passage that always makes me squirm, James writes:

“Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:5b-8)

When I saw the video earlier today, I almost immediately recalled my recent encounter while walking.

I intend no disparagement. In fact, if I indict anyone, I indict only myself. How often have I casually uttered unkind words? How often have I sewn corrupted seeds by malicious use of my tongue? How often have I surreptitiously attacked my neighbor while failing to recognize my own violence?

Weapons come in many shapes and sizes. Some cause instantaneous destruction and pain while others simmer and slowly corrupt from within.

I wonder…

Might bombs be the ultimate product of our untamed tongues?

2 thoughts on “Where Bombs Come From

  1. Maxine Sitts

    Steve:

    Thank you for this post (Where Bombs Come From). Inspiring me to remember to speak gently as I strive to create peace!

    Maxine

    Maxine Sitts

    On Sun, Aug 28, 2016 at 9:24 AM, Musings Amid the Thorns wrote:

    > sdalton43 posted: “Today, one of my Facebook friends posted a short video > that has been widely circulated. A portion of the heartrending recording > shows two young Syrian boys grieving the loss of their brother, who was > killed by a barrel bomb during an airstrike in Aleppo. ” > Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on *Musings Amid the Thorns* > Where Bombs Come From > by > sdalton43 > > Today, one of my Facebook friends posted a short video that has been > widely circulated. A portion of the heartrending recording shows two young > Syrian boys grieving the loss of their brother, who was killed by a barrel > bomb during an airstrike in Aleppo. > > How can we do such horrific things? > > — > > Walking is one of my preferred forms of exercise. On a recent walk, I > recognized the face of someone approaching from the opposite direction. He > was not a friend. In fact, I knew only his face and not his name; but, it > was a beautiful day, one that naturally lent itself to cordiality. So, as > we drew near to one another, I nodded and offered a greeting. He returned > my greeting, and we stopped to exchange pleasantries. > > During our conversation, we discovered that we had a mutual acquaintance – > a person who, in my experience, has always shown himself to be consistently > thoughtful and kind. I mentioned that this mutual acquaintance was a really > wonderful man. At that, my conversation partner paused briefly and then > said: “Of course, not everyone would agree with you.” > > When he uttered these words, I felt my heart drop in my chest. I asked no > follow-up questions and quickly changed the subject. Our conversation soon > ended, and we parted company. > > — > > The New Testament Letter of James offers a stern warning about the power > of the tongue.

    Reply

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