She told me she watched a spotter plane fly around behind her house for a long time. Then came the helicopters, with water bags hanging heavy and low. They dropped bag after bag of water on a fire that had re-ignited in an old burn pile.
It’s been a summer of high temperatures and no rain, so we Montana folk always have one eye on the ridge line, to see if any new plumes of forest fire smoke have started. Fire danger has been so high that we can only mow our lawns in the morning.
Someone posted a horrifying picture on Facebook, of a fierce blaze licking its way toward a beautiful home on a hillside.
Now I’m watching pictures of Hurricane Harvey and the dirty side of the storm bringing water up to the rooftops of brick-laid Texas homes. Everything lost.
Meanwhile, Matt and I are getting close to finishing the Herculean task of painting the outside of our house. Right now the entire front of it looks fresh and new, minus one unfinished spot under the upstairs windows where I couldn’t reach on Friday. It looks awful, but you wouldn’t judge me if you knew I was unwilling to smoosh my blossoming phlox just to paint that spot. A girl has to know what’s important.
So here we are putting hundreds of dollars into paint and a pile of man hours into spreading it, while other houses are burning and washing away.
The words of James come to mind:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15 NIV)
How do we do it, Lord? I ask. How do we take care of our houses but not love them?
A text comes in from my friend, and I see the water creeping up the sidewalk of her new home –the one she and her husband have been working so hard to fix up.
Lord, help me to love you and not this house that could get a new coat of paint but then easily go up in a puff of smoke or be destroyed by wind and water.
Last night we were relaxing in the living room, when it sounded like a car lost control and slammed into our garage door. We jumped to the window, to see the tail end of a microburst that ripped fascia off one neighbor’s house, shingles off of our roof, and a huge branch off of another neighbor’s tree.
So much damage in three seconds.
So will you pray with me: Lord, please, please help us to have the mindset that we are in roles as caretakers of the very temporary residences in which you’ve placed us. Help us to reserve our love, not for the pretty stuff that hangs on our walls, but for you and for the people you’ve made.