Friday, June 29, 2012

A Child Remembered

You are never more than a step from love, no matter where you go.  No distance can separate you from the touch of grace, no depth conceal you from the care of the One who made you.  You walk in light.  Go then to the places that need you.  Step over thresholds of hurt for the sake of others.  Dare to be the truth, share the work of justice.  Even if to save a few you lost it all, you would not count the cost.  
Steven Charleston, "Hope as Old as Fire"

I am a genealogist.  Therefore, I am a reader of obituaries   This week I found an obituary for a 15-year-old boy, the son of a casual friend from Groveland.  The friend and his wife had been through some traumatic health issues in their lives before this child was born.  He was their only child, his father's constant companion at least through the early years of his life.  Now he is gone.  

A remark made by a friend on a memorial page said, "If only you had someone close to talk to ...."   Someone else said, "If only you knew how many people cared."  Would he still be with us if he had heard the message of which Bishop Charleston reminds us?  If one person has stepped over the thresholds of his hurt to share a message of love?  

Don't blame the parents.  15-year-olds don't often hear their parents.  If they did, Ray and I wouldn't have had so many 14 to 17 year olds as crisis intervention foster kids.  But those same teens listen to their friends, their schoolmates, their scout leaders, their teachers.  They listen to strangers, to recording artists.  

Dare to be the truth.  Dare to share the work of justice.  Dare to share the love.  Step over the threshold.  

Don't forget to pray....
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

An Old Habit Reawakened

Some of us who have lived for any period in an area prone to wildfires learn to dig out information on the Internet.  I haven't  polished those particular hunting skills for awhile, but they came out with in a hurry this week when I heard about "a fire near Colorado Springs".  That was Sunday morning.  I was on my way to church.  Had to stop in the parking lot, haul out the smart phone, and check just how near to Colorado Springs this fire was.

Since Ray's passing I have kept in close contact with a cousin who lives on the west side of Colorado Springs.  He's been a volunteer fire fighter in a rural fire department, did some fire investigation work for said department.  His beloved mountain cabin was one of 133 homes lost in the 138,000+ acre Hayman Fire in 2002.  We've been out of daily contact for the last year as he's had health issues that have had him in and out of hospitals and care facilities, but he's home now with the help of a part-time care taker.  I called to ask about the fire.

"I'm calm."  he said.  "I'm OK."  This man is a master of understatement.  Turns out he was watching the fire from his front door.  "Last night you could see the fire move along the ground, then suddenly it would be in the top of a tree and the tree would explode.  It was moving that fast and that hot."  The ridge line he was watching was about 5 miles away.  A fast-moving wildfire can cover 5 miles in less time that it would take you to throw essentials into a bag, throw the bag in the car, and pull out of your driveway.

Me?  Been there, done that.  I've learned that after you've done it once (as in almost every critical or tense situation), you are less likely to panic when confronted with a similar situation.  But I'm still checking the National Fire Information Center website, the Pike National Forest website, InciWeb and their links to Google Earth, all the Denver and Colorado springs news sites, watching the direction the fire is moving (away from him, but towards his daughter's home north of the Air Force Academy).   And I am not directly threatened.

There are many good information links and lots of photos.  Here's one.  Imagine these scenes from your front door.

Don't forget to pray.  Pray for the weather.  Pray for the firefighters.  Pray for those who have lost property, for those who must shelter in evacuation centers or with friends, and for all those whose lives are directly impacted during an active fire.
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