Polluting or cleansing?


I spent a lot of last weekend in the car, which gave me ample opportunity to listen to programmes on the radio which I would usually have missed. In one of them the speaker alluded to a concept in Janet Winterson’s novel Sexing the cherry, which was so intriguing I just had to look it up.  In the novel people’s words rise up into the sky above the city and form a thick layer of cloud . Every so often the cloud of words grows so thick that cleaners are sent up in balloons with mops and buckets to scrub them off and allow people to think clearly once again.  Winterson writes ‘the oldest and most stubborn form a thick crust of shattering rage. Cleaners have been bitten by words still quarrelling’.

If such a cloud of words were to form above your pulpit – what would it look like, I wonder? Would it be a whispy, dainty tuft of cirrus cloud, or a gathering mass of cumulo nimbus storm cloud? Whichever it might be, it is vital that preachers cleanse the spiritual atmosphere, rather than pollute it through their words, surely?