This week a small town in Northern California was devastated by fire. Many homes in the city were lost and hundreds of people displaced. Video footage of the fire’s aftermath looked like a warzone. In the days following the fire, I would discover what gave the small town of Weed its birth would eventually create a situation that would bring about its destruction.
The city of Weed got its name from its founder, Abner Weed who purchased the original land in the late 1800’s for the sum of $400.00. His plan was to build a logging mill. By the 1940’s, Weed’s sawmill had become the largest lumber mill in the world. Mr. Weed chose this location because of the high winds that frequently blew through this mountain region. The winds would quickly dry the lumber making his product readily available to worldwide markets. What is sadly ironic is the reason for which Abner Weed chose the location for his sawmill was the same reason that would eventually aid in the city’s destruction. On the day of the devastating fire mountain winds that previously dried lumber were now being used to whip a single spark into a violent firestorm sending walls of fire into the streets of Weed.
Our words can have the same effect. I can speak words that affirm, build and honor or I can speak words that ignite destruction, death and dishonor. James said, “the tongue is a flame of fire – it can set your whole life on fire”. God gave us words to create, not to destroy. God used His voice to create our earth and when He was finished He said it was good. Goodness is the result of speaking in the name of God. This is the kind of breath we are called to release into our world – words of life filled with goodness, solutions and trust, not words that contain the spark of condemnation, suspicion and distrust.