Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A piece of straw is basically hollow and virtually weightless. When tossed up in the air, it flutters slowly to the ground or blows away in the slightest breeze, barely affected by gravity.

Straw has so little mass that a handful of it doesn’t feel any heavier than one. Even a small bale of it weighs only 30 to 40 pounds, depending on type and how tightly it was baled. But we have some large round bales of barley straw that are so dense that they weigh around 1400 pounds! When the net wrap is cut, the bales almost explode with enough straw to bed the barn twice.

I’ve never looked at a piece of straw under a microscope, but I’ll bet it looks something like Velcro because it seems to stick to everything.

Unlike hay, straw has very little feed value, but when spread in a barn, acts as, well, an absorbent toilet tissue for livestock waste.

Words are either hay or straw. (Forgive my hayseed philosophy!) Hay-words bless and add value to whoever hears them. But straw-words are worthless and can absorb value, leaving the listener feeling worthless too. Straw-words can be heavy with contempt and dripping with scorn, just like bedding from a cow-filled barn. Straw-words seem to stick like Velcro and build up until the load seems suffocating. One more critical, shaming word could be the last straw.

“Those who look to Him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.” –PSALM 34:5

“To add value to others, one must first value others.” –John Maxwell

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