We desperately need rain on the island. Each day the fire danger increases, and at night I smell wisps of smoke from fires burning on the mainland. Neighbors have bushwhacked their property, hoping to eliminate dry brush before a fire approaches. Warning signs are posted everywhere and the evening news carries reports on fire status. And yet, this morning as I drove to the grocery store, I saw a driver ahead of me toss a lighted cigarette from his car, oblivious of the danger. My first inclination was incredulous anger, but then I wondered about my own behavior. Do I carelessly toss burning embers when I gossip and criticize, when I fail to uplift and support others in their search for faith? Do I fan smoking tinder when I rush to identify others’ weaknesses and feel gleeful at their failures? Do I offer them temptation under the guise of “It’s only a small piece” or “Surely one more won’t hurt”. Am I more concerned about being liked than about being God’s? Am I responsible for human fires that rage in my wake because I have led others into temptation? Forgive me, Father, when I am careless with the lives of others. Please help me control my own behavior and act always with patient, forgiving love. Amen.

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