a time to kill, and a time to heal

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to kill, and a time to heal Ecclesiastes 3:3


Image NASA via MODIS Rapid Response Team

‘On December 8, 2007, NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of fires burning on Kangaroo Island, just off the coast of South Australia. Places, where the sensor detected active fire, are outlined in red. Thick, grey-brown smoke spreads eastward over Encounter Bay. (Earth Observatory) 

The fires remained out of control until the 14 December 2007, when the South Australian Country Fire Service officially announced that all fires were contained.

The Kangaroo Island bushfires were considered a natural disaster, initiated by a series of lightning strikes, and exacerbated by unusual weather patterns, including severe wind and extreme heat. The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research




We drove through Kangaroo Island not long after the fire. The scorched and silent landscape emanated a tragic eeriness.

Ten years later I visited the island again. Evidence of the fire remains but the beauty and promise produced by regrowth generated the sensation of hope.

Sometimes it’s only when we reflect back can we see the growth born of tragedy. We don’t wish for disasters,  but they do come.

Writing about the upheaval in our past can sometimes highlight growth that has occurred unconsciously. Can you look back on a difficult time and brainstorm a list of associated words – emotions, feelings, actions, consequences…anything that comes to mind?

When you’ve exhausted this, choose a new page and sit quietly in the present. Can you write a list of words that describe evidence of healing and hope?