Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Everything is on fire. 3200 people were ordered out of Paradise as the wind-stoked wildfire tore through, incinerating anything in its path. The shelters are full. The firefighters are exhausted. A heat wave is forecast. Nothing can be done except hope and pray. What did we do to deserve it? Nothing. When will it end? No one knows. What more can be done? Little more, as nearly everything has been tried. The governor can only say: "Our brave firefighters are doing their best!" so many times before the fatigue sets in and the best cannot be done.

But there are things a fire will not burn. No matter what heights the flames reach, they will not singe your resolve. No matter how deliberately they burn, they only clear the view to the horizon. An inferno brings nothing but dissonance, but from the human soul, only consonance. You may stand and watch the fire take it all away, and you may say that it is all in God's hands, but even God cannot touch your resolve to keep moving away from the flames, moving to a place where you and God mingle indefinitely -a grateful place of searing ardor no senseless wildfire could ever find. Then the fire will move on to destroy and devour and leave cold some other place, and having made its name known, will be easy to recognize when it returns.