Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Passion Is Like Burning Coals

CC photo courtesy of Jo Naylor via Flickr
CC photo courtesy of Jo Naylor via Flickr

Sometimes we get a post that doesn’t really fit the typical Single Matters content.

Robert Hawk is a writer and fable story teller. In this fable, he writes to tell us something fundamental to our Christian faith.


You know the kind—the passion that makes you think of something over and over. Passion that makes you desire something. We often think of passion as something that drives us to love. But when it doesn’t work out, that same passion turns us to hate. It’s just as intense. It starts by taking over your mind and then affects every area of your life. You dream about it. You journal about it. Your friends hear about it. 

Sometimes the holidays bring out the memory of pain and disappointment. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we thought this would be a good story to remind you of how powerful passion is. If this passion isn’t hurting others, it can hurt you. There are three things we do to get rid of the passionate pain we carry: We lash out at the person who hurt us. We take it out on others around us. Or we internalize it and unintentionally allow it to hurt us.

We hope you are challenged by this fable of four brothers to help you forgive those who hurt you romantically in the past, so you are free to love in the future.

Passion is Like Burning Coals

There once were four brothers who suffered a great injustice at the hands of an enemy. The injustice turned into hate, and the hate turned into red-hot coals that burned into the brothers’ bodies. The pain was excruciating.

The first brother returned to his enemy and hurled hot coals back at him. Even after causing his enemy great pain, the first brother felt no comfort from his own coals. The enemy, in turn, threw even more coals back the first brother. The two men continued this way until they both died.

The second brother heaved hot coals on everyone around him. He did not mean to be so cruel, but he was blind from pain. Even after he flung coals at everyone, he still could never get rid of the burning sensation in his own body. He too died without relief.

The third brother held on to the pain and would not let it go. He tried to distract himself with many activities and objects of desire, but all he could do was think about the coals day and night. He never shared his pain with anyone, until one day the hot coals burned through his soul and he died.

The fourth brother hated the burning coals as much as his brothers, but instead of holding them inside or tossing them onto other people, he journeyed to the river and waded into the cool water of forgiveness. It took some time, but the fourth brother eventually let go of the red hot coals. The river washed away the pain.

Moral: Peace comes only through forgiveness.

About Robert Hawk

Robert Hawk is a Christian screenwriter and novelist. He’s a former deputy probation counselor, working with troubled kids. He holds a degree in English and loves to go hiking, fishing and telling really bad jokes. He lives in California with his patient wife and two long-suffering daughters.
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