Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Compassion and Lightning Strikes

Several people have confided in me that they've been struck by lightning. For them I have a message of compassion, and a couple facts. First, no one has ever survived a direct lightning strike. The temperature in a bolt of lightning can hit about 50,000F, hot enough to instantly boil every molecule of water in your body. That said, several people each year are actually hit by a branch off a main bolt of lightning, and it's not like I'm in any position to cast aspersions on their story and tell them they weren't really 'struck' by lightning. Doing that would be like criticizing someone who says they were "Hit by a Mack truck" and telling them it was actually just a Freightliner. Most people, I would argue, who say they have been hit by lightning probably had lightning strike a tree near their campsite or car. When these people tell you they were hit by lightning, it is permissible to ask to see their burnt fingernails before showing them compassion.

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