Background picture taken November 9,
-the day after fire.
December 19—Grief Recovery Twofold
Major events in our lives are punctuated by dates, never to be forgotten. After four years of grief and suffering due to the loss of our daughter, we experienced a corporate crisis incident which became known as “Campfire”—the loss of an entire town, due to a major fire. It wasn’t just Paradise, but Magalia, Yankee Hill, Concow and other surrounding communities which suffered loss. Due to this crisis, our health again has been impacted negatively, as has been the case with many who have experienced this horrible tragedy.
This picture taken December 16, with new grass.
Only those who have visited the area and seen firsthand the horrendous impact this fire caused can truly take in how grave the situation really is. Those of us who lived in the area, that either lost everything and plan to rebuild, or who never lost their homes, but are now coming back to re-inhabit, will need to get used to constantly beholding the devastation on a regular basis through Paradise. It will take a long time to recover.
But the good news is that human beings, whether on an individual basis or corporately, do not have to face the long recovery process alone. There is one who is a Friend of all and longs to link Himself with each of us individually. He created us and knows how to restore us from the ‘smoke damage’ at every level. When we realize He is building dwelling places which are--fire-proof, flood proof, earthquake proof, where no tornado or hurricane will every occur, but peace and tranquility with no fears through ongoing ages—how can we not long for a home as such.
This picture taken December 16, after recent rains.
Over the course of the last six weeks, Mary and I have had many opportunities to bless others. We have taken in donations for the purpose of helping others who also have been impacted by this horrendous experience. We have given hope to those God has brought into our lives. We have learned also from others and felt our need more truly of relying on divine sustenance. Grace is still available for human beings and we need to be ever thankful for it, even in the midst of this awful
situation. We can all think of scenarios where it could have been worse—
thousands could have perished in this firestorm. But praise God, miracles abounded that day for saint and sinner alike, for Christ died for all.
Tragedies also come with silver linings. Our cross still stands to bless others in a location where nearly everything else burned. We have heard from others who have been touched to know that God spared the cross to bring hope to a hurting community. Our experiences we’ve written down and shared with others have been for the purpose to bring comfort to those in need of comfort, to encourage suffering ones and lighten their load. The loss of our daughter four years ago has enabled us to ‘weather’ this storm through the process of ministering to others in our mutual loss and hopefully strengthen them in their difficult journey. The good works performed individually and collectively should always be to reflect back on the goodness of God for “in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Your prayers are coveted for our health—emotionally and physically. Life will never be the same, but we need to always remember there is One who holds our hand, if we let Him, through all these experiences. He is preparing us for the eternal abode one day soon—where all who’s names are written in that Book will dwell with ‘everlasting fire’, but not be burned.
Let Him be your best Friend until then.