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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

We live about fifteen miles south of the forest fire raging just west of Ft. Collins, Colorado.
When the wind turns, the smoke from the fire blows into Estes Park.
Yesterday morning a murky, noxious cloud floated over our town and settled into the crevices and hollows etched in the surrounding mountains.
The smoke, combined with stinging eyes and burning throats, lowered a kind of pall over the residents and tourists.
Starbucks diehards retreated indoors.
Even the usual herd of elk that congregates on the golf course hunkered down closer to the lake, and kept their noses close to the ground.
From the vantage point of my deck, the usually distinct cut of the Mummy Range had merged, then disappeared into the smudged horizon.
A cloud the shape of a Medusa's head spread writhing tendrils which hovered above the downtown.

Smoke is almost never a good thing.
It signifies destruction.
It obscures.
It poisons.
It irritates.

And unlike clouds of moist fog. . .
rolling into the harbor,
blurring the street lights at night,
bathing the mountains each morning. . .

 there's nothing very romantic about smoke.

Have you ever thought of smoke as a metaphor for relationships?
It's almost never good.
Smoke is allied with deception, hiding, lying.
And the effect of the emotional "smoke" harms people.

I've been in smoke-filled relationships.
It's never pleasant.
I always find myself yearning -whether it's my fault or the other person's -- to break out and breathe free of the fumes.

Jesus spoke about "smoke."
His solution always involves hard words:
  1. humbling myself
  2. repenting, 
  3. forgiving
  4. submitting to God

They're hard words to implement.
Sometimes the smoke is so thick that I can't even see where I'm going wrong.
 But if I do one of those four things listed above, the smoke clears.
The result is freedom.
And I'd much rather breathe clean, pure air, than smoke.

"Whoever would love life and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1 Pet. 3:10-12 NIV Bible)


  1. Ouch! Your piece was timely. I need to clear some smoke from one of my relationships.

  2. Me, too, Susan. Seems like there's always smoke somewhere!