Disposing of Live Grenades

Melvin McDonald served in the Canadian navy during World War II. There are certain mementos he values from that season of his life. It turns out that one of them created quite a ruckus last week at police headquarters in Winnipeg.

Last Monday the 79-year-old McDonald and his wife showed up at the front desk. His opening line to the police officer who offered to assist him was, "I got a grenade." He wasn't making a threat, mind you just stating a fact. With that he took a hand grenade out of a brown paper bag and gave it to the officer.

The shocked constable kept his head. He did, however, call the bomb squad immediately. Then things really started to happen. Most of the main floor of the Public Safety Building was evacuated, the fire department was put on alert, and the bomb squad showed up with all its sophisticated paraphernalia.

The grenade was still primed with explosive, and its fuse was intact. "I've had it in the house all these years," the veteran said. "I used to have it on a stand." His nephew had suggested it ought to be turned over to the police.

An embarrassed McDonald apologized for all the commotion he caused. It was only a keepsake from a training exercise in Scotland in the early 1940s.

It makes me think of the stuff some of us have kept around far too long -- things that still could do a lot of harm. We bear grudges from old offenses. The resentment lingers from months, years, or decades ago. There is bad blood between departments in your company, families in the neighborhood, or people who are members of your church. Maybe your heart is seething with anger.

If something isn't done to deactivate those feelings, there could be a major explosion. There will be casualties. A business could be ruined. A marriage might be destroyed. A church could die. Innocent souls will suffer for someone's folly.

The Apostle Paul wrote: "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice" (Ephesians 4:31). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why he gave that counsel. Explosions maim and kill!

Winnipeg police discouraged anyone else with such items from trying to deliver such devices to the authorities. "Please call police," said a spokesman, "and we will arrange for a pickup. Don't drop it off on our front counter."

You may need to call on God to handle some bad -- and potentially deadly -- feelings tormenting you. He can supply the balm of compassion and pardon.

Rubel Shelly whcoc@edge.net

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(c) 2003 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission

Visit: http://www.faithmatters.com  to read more of Rubel's writing or to sign up for his weekly column: FAX of Life.

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