What Will You Burn?

“Go forth and set the world on fire”. – Jesuit saying

Meditations in Motion

Hong Kong

Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong since April. Pro-democracy protesters have begun using petrol bombs in demonstrations against a government that threatens to take away the autonomy and rights unique to this former British colony since it was repatriated to China in 1997.

Clashes have turned violent and protesters have been injured, arrested and killed.


In Chile, violent protests were sparked by a metro fare hike of 30 pesos (about $.04). Students advocated fare evasion, which sparked an outbreak of turnstile-hopping. The demonstrations quickly escalated, bringing chaos, looting, and burning metro stations. Over a million protesters took to the streets in the capital, Santiago, and at least 19 people have been killed.

The root cause of the protests is income inequality. A recent study found that the top 1% of the Chilean population earns one-third of the nation’s wealth and that 50% of the population exists on less than $550 per month.


In Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain, hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the streets protesting both for and against Catalan independence. Trash bins were set ablaze, objects were thrown at the police, and scores of people were injured.

The protests began when nine leaders of the pro-independence movement received heavy jail sentences from the Spanish supreme court.

The World is Burning

It sometimes seems like the world is burning. Demonstrators, passionate about their causes, are setting the world on fire.

Fire destroys, that is true. We can witness the fires of hatred, bigotry, injustice, and greed sweeping through the world, destroying people, institutions, and cultures.

But fires purify too. Fire is used to eradicate weeds and refine gold in the Bible. Flames create light in the darkness. Sometimes destruction precedes rebirth and tender green sprouts of hope arise from the ashes of ruins.

Holy fire can be used to obliterate the poverty, hunger, racism, misogyny, and ignorance we see in the world. What sparks can you cast today?

What sets you on fire? What will you burn?

“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49


I am linking up with Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, and Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Soaring With Him for Recharge Wednesday, and Worth Beyond Rubies .

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion


  1. From my vantage point in Northern California, where we are about to enter yet another red alert for fire danger along with high winds, we have a highly developed sense of respect, awe, and often dread when it comes to fire. One of the primary defenses in fire-prone areas are controlled burns — which I think would be another metaphor for the kind of life-affirming energy you advocate kindling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every time I read about another power outage in Northern California, I wonder about you, Jan. Yes, controlled burns (even as a metaphor) are much safer! 🙂


  2. I can say I’ve never been part of any protests, despite growing up in the turbulent 60s and 70s, nor had any leanings toward doing that. Likely, I thought if I ever marched or protested, I’d have been one of those that got jailed or on the receiving end of a taser gun and that Mom and Dad would lay down the law if I did. I feel I am too calm to be much of a threat … though I do enjoy watching Jane Fonda’s glee in getting arrested every Friday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a little bit too young to have participated in any protests. I guess you were too. I thought about joining the Women’s March on Washington, but then apathy took over and I didn’t go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I was also too young Laurie and my parents likely would have forbid it as well. My friend Ann Marie participated in the Women’s March on Washington and even wore the pink hats. She and a friend drove there in her brand-new car, and they spent the night and then drove back. They were excited to be part of the event – and, BTW, my friend Ann Marie is now retired after being an elementary teacher for many years, and before that, a nun. She will be 77 in a few weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here – I was raised very strictly, more so as I was an only child. Ann Marie is amazing Laurie – she is a bundle of energy with all her volunteer work she does. She is always off doing a good turn. I don’t see the guy who does Meals on Wheels anymore since they tore up that street (it’s been like that since August) … he always had a wave and a smile and a van full of barking dogs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great analogy Laurie!
    We have terrible fires here in Australia at the moment two of our States were in “States of Emergency” recently! The smoke is extremely bad all along our east coast! Some days we can’t leave the house because of the air quality. I’ve never known it this bad before!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m embarrassed to note the things that set my hair afire when I realize how petty they are compared to the huge issues faced by so many. I’ll add Bolivia to your list of hot spots, because a couple our church supports as missionaries there has had to flee to safety because of riots surrounding election outcomes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I had heard of the unrest in Bolivia, too. I could have added it to my list. My daughter-in-law’s family lives in Santiago, Chile, and they were sending reports of the violence. Scary!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Challenging thoughts, Laurie. In the past, I’ve struggled with complacency, and I suspect, many in our country live in that state. I think when we can see people in this world through God’s lens of grace and compassion, that’s when a good fire can begin within us.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking words!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My pastor preached a sermon about burning the ships recently. He spoke of explorers and how they burned the ships after conquering a new land. And that it would do us well to walk into the things God calls us to with the same attitude. Sometimes we need to let go of what was to fully step into what will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie,
    It is always my desire to have a heart that is on fire for the Lord so that when others look at me, they will see God’s heart which is on fire for them. I admit that I often feel consumed or snuffed out. That’s my cue to turn back to the kindling and the catalyst to start a fire (God’s Word and the Holy Spirit).
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not setting the world on fire with anything I do but have always tried to make a small difference. We pick up 3 pieces of trash every time we go out. Donate treats to the animal shelter. Food to the church pantry. Blankets. Clothes. What we are doing isn’t anything special or anything more than what the average person does. Just hope it works toward counteracting and balancing some of the negative in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think what you are doing IS special. You are living an intentional life. If we all did the small things like you do, they would add up to a huge difference! Way to make the world a brighter place! 🙂


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