The Volcanic Spirit

One eruption can contaminate your inner space for a l-o-n-g time.

I—and millions more—had never heard of Eyjafjallajokull, the Icelandic volcano, until it blew up a few days ago and belched ash and dirty ice into the atmosphere at a rate of 750 tons per second. Now, days later, this ugly volcanic "garbage" floats over much of Europe and is the cause of thousands of flight cancellations. Entire national economies are being humbled by this unexpected event.

Having spent a large part of my life preaching and writing, I am always on the prowl for a word picture or a story that illustrates a great idea and makes it "graspable" by a listener or a reader.

In that sense Eyjafjallajokull is a symbol of the many volcanoes, some active, some dormant, that mark the landscape of the human spirit—that inner space that is as large in its unique dimension as is outer space.

These interior Eyjafjallajokulls of varying sizes can erupt when one least expects it: in traffic, in a routine conversation when disagreement rises, in a moment when someone denies ...

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