President of Central Baptist Seminary, Kansas City, Kansas
On a recent road trip through southern Kansas, I witnessed a spring rite, the burning of the prairie. The billowing smoke and red glow of distant fires are quite the vista — and a sign of renewal. The distinctive smell permeates the environs, even in a speeding presidential Ford with windows tightly closed. Lightning strikes have lit up dead trees and overgrown pastures for centuries. Seeing the benefits, farmers and ranchers now set controlled times of burning so that new life may come.
It is hard to believe that from charred grasslands and withered, blackened brush can come a healthy ecosystem. Yet, that is exactly what happens. The prairie always blossoms with new vibrancy after this time of seeming ruin.
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