From anger to peace
In August 2017, more than 60,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Frankfurt after an unexploded bomb was uncovered during construction work. The 1,400kg device– codenamed ‘Cookie’ by the RAF– was dropped by a British wartime bomber in WW2. That’s quite some cookie. The evacuation was one of the biggest such operations of recent times, but vital to allow the device to be made safe.
The device could potentially wipe out entire blocks during the war. An exclusion zone of 1500m radius was established, requiring a mass evacuation including houses, businesses, hospitals and care homes. It involved considerable disruption. More than 100 patients were moved from two hospitals, including premature babies and patients from intensive care wards. Hundreds more were moved from care homes. The city’s fire and police chiefs warned that an uncontrolled explosion of the HC 4000 bomb would still be powerful enough to flatten an entire street.
Thousands of wartime unexploded bombs are still found in Germany every year. In July 2017, a kindergarten was evacuated after the teacher found an unexploded WW2 bomb on a shelf. Police said a child had found it on a woodland walk and brought it inside.
The disruption caused by UXBs is huge, as homes, hospitals, offices and schools are evacuated. But the cost would be far worse if a viable device exploded. The inconvenience will pass out of mind, whether it is in Birmingham, Bremen or Baghdad, when a community and individuals are able to inhabit the space again, return to home, play and work as usual. They can flourish and live without the danger or destruction they had faced. It will become a story to laugh about even.
Dealing with our sin doesn’t just solve a problem, it opens the way for more of Christ-like character to grow and flourish. It clears the way not simply from harm but for healing, for new life, for service and renewed joy from Jesus, for peace not shame.
Addressing sin might seem tough or inconvenient, maybe impossible. With God’s help, all things are possible. With God, impossible is nothing.
He desires to change and renew us into the likeness of his Son.
One of the most potent, common and recognisable of the deadly sins is anger. It can tear into us or we can rip someone else’s confidence to shreds. Anger can blow up in a home, a car or a church. It can be extremely destructive. None of us has escaped it, for some it is alive and kicking. Seething resentment is quieter but hardly healthier! Weapons of mass destruction.
We also know how good it is to enjoy peace in a family, between colleagues, even amongst nations. Peace is profoundly powerful not just as something to enjoy but to deploy.
In our toolkit to dispose of these deadly sins, one overlooked resource is simply this: silence. Take time to choose to be silent and still in God’s presence. Don’t try to do anything, just let Him remind you of his love, his rule, his ways.
Ask Him to reveal any resentment, to identify the triggers for anger where we react rather than listen, and hand over our failings and our fears to God. We can change. It starts by dealing honestly with God.
His peace is beyond our understanding at times. It doesn’t mean it is beyond our reach. Anger doesn’t need to rule us, the explosion can be averted.
Maybe try some silence and stillness this week: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10)?
Bomb Disposal is Available on Amazon