Today is the most polluted Hong Kong has been in the last two years. A typhoon heading toward Taiwan has trapped the contaminants here somehow; I guess the storm is pushing back the air which normally carries the bad stuff away. You can feel how dirty it is when you breathe. I never felt it like this or noted the pollution previously, though the air is very, very dirty. It’s like standing behind a running bus, breathing in exhaust for every breath. It is strange to breathe something so harmful. It makes the thought of clean air so appealing, that one day we will breathe air so fresh we can taste its sweetness. There is something James wrote which surfaces in my mind about religion involving two things:  looking after widows and orphans, and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world. It makes me wonder about spiritual  breathing, if there is something about what we do and where we live and where we spend our time that can affect our souls (the same way what we do and where we live and where we spend our time can so affect our lungs) and what that may be, in this spiritually analogous sense. I don’t smoke, but on days like these my lungs are probably dubious; I wonder if I am addicted to anything like that in this same spiritual sense, if there are regular things which we do that could hurt our souls, stain us somehow like tar on our lungs. It will be a good thing, to search for the clean air and avoid the dirty. Are greedy offices smoky bars? Are hurtful comments, selfish lies like smoking cigarrettes, that dangerous over the long term? Solomon wrote that the person who refreshes others refreshes himself; maybe kind words are like breathing in new, sweet air. Is there an analogy hidden there, that all of these things we do, these environments we are in have led to our cancer, our decay, and Jesus is the cure, the new life given?

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