My wife Missy loves candles and owns many. She enjoys the varieties of scents, colors, and decorative containers. Nearly every evening they’re lit and cast dancing shadows on the walls, adding a sense of warmth to our home. One night before heading to bed, I took the initiative to extinguish the lights in each room and stood over the one gracing our dining room table. With a hearty wind I blew out the flame, causing the melted wax to retaliate. I was able to close my eye just in time for the fluid to coat and seal my right eyelid. Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.
Looking back, I’m not sure why I blew so hard. With every other candle that evening I offered a gentle breeze, yet decided to give this one flame everything I had. I was left with singed eyelashes and sensitive, burned skin. I’ve committed the same crime when it comes to my temper. I know that a “soft word turns away wrath”, but sometimes blow much harder than needed. And most often the result is backlash. I may not get hot wax to the face, but the ending is no less painful.
Understandably, larger flames require larger gusts of wind for stifling. But mark well the direction from which you’re blowing. Even when speaking peace into an argument, you may soon become the target. Truth rarely triumphs once tempers flare. It is often the appropriate strength and angle that will successfully snuff the flame.