A Poetic Warning from the Fire Brigade

Last month, the local Fire Brigade pushed a card through my door, upon which was a poem. Much as I admire our fire fighters, lyrical eloquence is not a quality with which I imagine they are neccesarily endowed, though you may judge for yourself:


Glistening, sparkling, shining bright,

Are your lovely Christmas lights,

But turn them off when you’re not there,

We don’t want you to have a scare…


I expected the warning to be about leaving candles unattended, but it seems to be electrical Christmas lights with which the poet is chiefly concerned. James in chapter 3 of his epistle writes 

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! (ESV)

Just as twinkling fairy lights and sweet-scented candles may burn down their hosts’ homes, so our words can wreak damage to rival a forest fire. I suspect the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service won’t have many publishers queueing up to release further editions of their work, but the message is true enough. O Lord, guard my mouth.