This long crack in the ground is spewing out hot molten lava, burning everything in its path. The recent 6.9 earthquake on the Big Island of Hawaii near the Kilauea volcano caused new fissures to be formed. For those living close by in this rural area, there was no choice but to evacuate. These fissures can spew lava more than 200 feet into the air. Although the lava is slow moving, it cannot be stopped. However, it can be diverted as was done with pumped sea water in 1973 on a small island in Iceland!
Today’s verse tells us that a gentle or soft answer can divert or turn away something just as seemingly unstoppable as molten lava; anger. And just as easily, that flow of hot burning anger can be worsened by a harsh word given in response. Without a calm controlled response, anger so easily can escalate, spewing up into the air and destroying a relationship. However, anger can quickly dissipate and lose its momentum with a soft, gentle response.
I have been on the giving and receiving end of that soft gentle response. The effect seems to be immediate, as if a wet blanket was thrown on a spark just ignited. Yet it is hard to respond with gentleness when feeling under attack. And anger seems to be almost contagious but rather than responding in kind, I can be kind. The anger may continue or flare up again, but at least I can do my part to turn the tide. However, it is not natural for me. I need His Spirit to calm me down and help me to calm the one who is so angry.
Lord, make my words gentle and soft today.