By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
On cold mornings, I build a fire in our woodstove and sit in front of it with a hot cup of coffee. It’s become my wintertime place to meet with Jesus, the place where I share my heart, read His words, listen for His voice.
Not only does the woodstove offer a tangible warmth, it is companionable—an entity in the room, nearly living and breathing with its glass door that reveals the flickering, glowing flames.
It talks, too.
While the stove heats up, it ticks rapidly as the metal expands in response to the hot flames. But when it cools and the iron “shrinks,” the ticking sounds come slowly. Almost reluctantly.
Our language reflects this physical law—the metaphor has been built in for years. Things (and people) heat up quickly. Tempers flare. It takes longer to cool off. Settle down.
Jesus’ brother James encourages us to reverse the process where our natures are concerned. “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath,” he writes.
This Christmas season as we gather with family and friends, in-laws and outlaws, let’s remember James’s instruction.
It is so easy to allow our tempers to flare, fueled by errant words that may be unintentional. Or not. It doesn’t matter.
May we instead bring the peace of Christ to our tables with ears and hearts open to listen and lips ready to smile and praise the King.
The driver passed behind her, smelling of leather and snow. A dark wool shirt hugged his broad shoulders, and the scarf still circled his neck. Without his hat, blond hair fell across his brow, and bright pink tipped his ears and nose. He stood with his back to the flame, and blue eyes swept her with bridled appreciation. He nodded once.
Rattled by his obvious assessment, she returned his nod as curtly as possible. She could be just as tight-lipped as he.
–from “The Snowbound Bride”
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