I remember the day that the wind changed direction and the smoke from the fire was so frighteningly strong that it woke me up and my lungs ached.

As I watched the news about the fires in the Amazon, I remembered that country – its people, land and animals – and how the fires continue to be on the move, affecting Uruguay, and stoking global concerns about the fire’s impact on climate change.

I was encouraged to continue to think of, and pray for, Brazil and all people fighting fire in far too many places in the world.

And not just physical fires.

There is a lot of soul-destroying fire happening in today’s world such as
… leaders who don’t lead in response to the needs of the people
… supporters of such leaders who don’t stand up to the immorality, prevarication, dangerous rhetoric
… tropical storms becoming more and more frequent and stronger
… families being separated
… sick children being sent back to their country of origin where they will die because of no access to the medical expertise and professional staff they are now receiving
… and the soul-destroying list goes on.

And what is the response to these soul-destroying fires?

Many are no long reading or watching the news because they find it too stressful and reinforces their sense of helplessness.

But, does ignoring the news help reduce the soul-destruction?

If putting a lid on a physical garbage can, filled with festering garbage, only hides the putrid smell, can a similar response happen in putting a lid on an emotional garbage can filled with festering garbage of anger and hatred and fear and resentment and … ?

Tears fall from my eyes and tears cover my heart and my soul, as I realize that soul-destroying fires really do exist and that lately, they seem to be moving even more quickly.

What can I – or others – do?

I find that the tears, that sense of helplessness is diminished
… by being aware of what is happening, not by ignoring the news
… by naming the fears and not letting them fester
… by not closing my eyes to the realities
… by not stifling conversation about what is happening
… and by being open to letting Light in, so that healing can begin for this world we inhabit and love.

May we know that every tear shed, every prayer said, every thought expressed, every peaceful protest, every vote – counts.

May we all do what we can to become informed about the issues, informed about the candidates.

And may we let the soul-destroying fires know that they are not welcome in our body, mind or soul, our country or this world.

© June Maffin