People on Fire

The phenomena of spontaneous human combustion is widely believed to be a myth, but I tell you, I’ve seen it. In fact, it’s possible that anyone could catch fire at any moment. I urge you not to dismiss the unexplained, but to listen with an open mind about the things I’ve witnessed.

There is a particular moment, a tipping point that feels like a small electric shock. Standing near someone about to catch fire is like being near a power plant or a buzzing transformer; it vibrates your bones and makes the skin on the back of your neck tingle. It’s unmistakable and fearsome to behold.

When the actual spark happens, their face transforms: eyes widen, chins drop, and shoulders straighten. When a person alights with the flame of an idea that empowers them, it changes their life. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever been blessed to witness.

The interesting thing is that it sometimes takes a bit of doing for someone to catch fire. The heat of ideas seem to burn closer to the surface in some than in others.  But it’s those deeply buried ideas that have been squirreled away and heavily guarded that erupt with the brightest of fireworks.  It only takes a small bit of encouragement, only a little compassion and empathy to fan the spark into a wildfire. Of all the things I’ve done, I count highest in my accomplishments the times I’ve helped to flip that ignition switch.

Such an amazing result can come from such a small bit of effort.  Once people catch fire, they burn with the heat of impassioned purpose that is the root of all great things.

People are on fire everywhere in the Tri-Cities, just look around.

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Shenoa Lawrence

Shenoa has traveled in 17 countries, eaten a meal hanging from the side of a cliff, and been cursed at in Creole. She's prone to skinned knees, goofy comments, and big ideas. Shenoa is a designer of web sites, drinker of coffee, and seeker of adventures. She thinks writing her own bios are really weird and awkward.

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  • You certainly have a knack for linking letters together Shenoa! I love that you took time to recognize such a special moment and then capture it in words. I’ve seen it to, but never appreciated that moment of combustion for the powerful brief blink in history that it is. You’re truly a gifted ignition switch flipper!