A week ago I was driving home from work and my daughter called me and asked my thoughts on the Black Forest fire. I said, “What?” She said, “Look off to the north, and you will see it.” I saw the massive plume of smoke. I got home as quickly as I could and planted myself in front of the TV to catch any news I could about the fire. I watched all night long until my daughter called again and said, “Mom, quit watching the news about the fire, I can tell you are getting upset.” When I couldn’t get enough news on the TV, I turned to my phone and got on Facebook to see what people were posting, looking at all the pictures of peoples’ homes burning. Then I wondered about all the people I knew who lived in Black Forest and how they were doing, so I posted on Facebook that I had room if anyone needed to leave their home. This happened a year ago to me, and I knew how hard it is to leave your home not knowing what might happen.
As the days went on, I prayed and kept up with the latest news to make sure that the people I knew in that area were okay. I knew several of our church families were evacuated and thought maybe one of their homes might of burned on the first day of the evacuations. This burdened my heart with sadness. How can this be happening again, just a year after the Waldo Canyon fire that devastated so many families? Why our city? Where is God in all of this?
I couldn’t help but wonder why I/we get so caught up on having to look at all the news about the devastation that is happening even though we know it will burden our hearts more to continue to stay tuned in. I think it is because that when we are living in a disaster we look for that glimmer of hope: the fireman carrying the fawn out of the fire, the man who found his dearly beloved horse safe with a neighbor, and all the other stories that makes us feel good inside and show us how we as people jump in and help each other at a time when we need it most. Leaving behind all of our judgments, likes or dislikes towards people we reach out to give no matter who we are. This is where I think God is working within us, working together helping each of us get through this devastation. God did answer our prayers, and God was with us all at every step. Prayer is powerful and effective; don’t stop praying because there is a lot of work ahead of us to rebuild and put our lives back together.