So just over 24 hours ago life in my area has gone a little crazy. Just before 3pm yesterday afternoon a forest fire broke out just across the lake from Kelowna - near the area where I grew up. Friends and the family of one of my roommates were evacuated shortly after that, as the fire was very near to a heavily residential area. In the next few hours, the fire jumped the highway and began threatening more homes as it continued to grow. Then later in the evening another forest fire broke out in an area not to far from the first one, prompting more evacuations and danger to more homes in another residential area.
The response from people has been incredible - offers of places to stay for people and for pets, help with necessities that were left behind, etc. It's only been 5 years since the last time this happened on the Kelowna side of the lake, so the memories are still fresh. And this area is once again showing its community spirit and pulling together to help people. It's inspiring to see! Even in our normally individualistic culture, people still rally to help when people are in need.
Watching this happen from the other side of the lake and knowing there is little I can do to help friends affected by this is hard. There are some people who I care about who are facing some major fears right now. But, as I hear from them, I'm amazed at their strength in it all. They are standing and trusting God - and while they worry for their material possessions left behind, they are glad to have all the people they care about with them. There is an incredible strength that comes from their choosing to walk the journey of this life with God, and to trust Him even when life seems to be going totally and completely wrong.
As I watch the way a community is pulling together to help, I wonder why it takes a disaster like this for people to be moved to this kind of action. I wonder why we can't be people who help in the little ways when we meet people in need each day. Why do we wait for lives and homes to be threatened with destruction before we offer of ourselves to help others? Sure, the needs are maybe more obvious now than they are at other times, but why do we always wait? Just some questions going through my head right now.