To my right I can see the burn scars on the mountain side. The mountain side that one year ago put me and my family in the situation of a policeman at our door, telling us we had five minutes to get out. It was dark when we pulled away from our house, we took a high road out and saw the flames engulfing the mountainside. It was like we were watching some kind of movie -only it was real life -our life. The moment, pardon the pun, is burned into my brain. We spent the next three days at the home of a friend, glued to the local news.
Then, at that point, in those moments, I was remarkably calm about it all. We even joked that if the house did burn at least we could get new furniture and bath towels.
To my left heavy black and white smoke billows into the air. It's Black Forrest. We're supposed to have a good-bye BBQ there on Saturday with some of our friends. I call her. She's in New Mexico. I'm the first to tell her that her neighborhood is on fire. I call my other friend. She's packing her car. I offer her and her family a place to stay. I don't have numbers on my phone for the other people I know in the Black Forrest area. I think of them.
Suddenly all the suppressed stress of last year is shaking me. My eyes drip for the people I know, for the people I don't know, and that this beautiful city is going to have to relive the hell of last year.
I've been keeping a close eye on the news. People I love have been removed from their homes. People I love may not have homes to go back to. People I love are pulling together and loving and serving one another.
Pray we get some rain today. Pray that the winds will stop. Pray for all these people who are displaced, hanging in limbo, and pray for the (at this point) 379 families that have no house to go back to.
Update: Friday afternoon a storm blew in, and gave the whole fire area a good, solid soak! It was miraculous and nothing short of Heavenly Father responding to much prayer. In fact, we had rain on Saturday and on Sunday and yesterday too. Now, at last look, the fire is 85% contained and has destroyed 502 homes. We're still praying for these families and for the firefighters, and while we're thanking the Lord for the moister, we're still asking for more. We need it.