I don't know who had it worse. The husband who was left to grab the kids, pets and valuables or the wife who was across town about to adopt a Bastrop dog. I honestly didn't know my little Acura could go that fast. I drove it like I stole it. The whole time frantically calling everyone in my phone, whom I learned I had an odd assortment of folks for some reason, because the horrifying thought of sleeping in a shelter could simply not come true.
By the time I made it to the main road in front of our complex, having seen the smoke from my complex for miles already, I saw the SEVENTH fire truck pass by. Seven? Really? That was when my little heart started to thump. If they were sending seven then surely it was more than one little apartment on fire. My husband had only had time to say that there was a fire two buildings over. Two short little hops over from all our stuff. Not to mention, and let's just be honest here, I hate where I live and I struggle every single day to love the people there because, well, frankly, they are hard people to love, but they are people. Made in God's image. Beautiful. Glorious people. And there are so many kids it's unbelievable. I couldn't even really go there in my mind and I had to navigate a left-hand turn to get onto the road into the complex which was reduced to one lane. It seemed the one way in was blocked off so I turned into the shopping center and walked over. OK. I ran. Or more realistically, I shuffled.
When I rounded the corner to where our apartment was and saw that it was surrounded by fire trucks I hadn't even realized I had run right by the love of my life and the two darlings from that love. He called out and I turned and stared blankly as he handed me the squirming two year old who melted in my arms.
I wiped away my boy's tears and patted his back. Every time I wipe away one of my kids tears I think about how one day, one sweet glorious day, God will wipe away ours. I have a theory about this that has completely no merit to it other than I am in love with it. My theory is that he will actually go back and wipe away all the tears from our life. Every hard moment. Every thing we didn't understand. Like fire. Like an earthquake. Like death. And he will just wipe it away. Then we'll start a new life with clean little faces.
One of my friends had posted that she wondered where God was in all the nastiness of a fallen world, well, that's my paraphrased version. Truth is I don't know. I have a feeling each situation, each disaster, is different. Some, it's like the grand theater in the story of Job. There's a back-story we aren't seeing. There's a real devil out there who wants to destroy and probably loves it more than anything when God gets blamed for his antics. Fire seems right up his ally. But then there's the problem that, OK fine, so there's a bad guy in the story. Isn't there a good guy? And isn't the good guy bigger and better? Yes. And Heaven Yes. But there's a bigger story we aren't seeing. There's a glorious ending where the good guys cream the bad guys. We'll leave this live with that wobbly-just-from-the-movie feeling and have that satisfied "aaahhh" of having seen a really, really good story. But this is the hard part. When our town is burning. When friend's homes are destroyed. When our little square of dirt we call home is on CNN and it's a pile of rubble that should not be. As I write this, it's early in the morning and we hear more sirens. I also hear a whisper.
A constant beautiful whisper of love. Urging me to love better. Encouraging me to go easy on myself. Reminding me of how others might be feeling. As the Holy Spirit that lives in me because I received Christ gently guides me through this nasty life I am reminded that he is not in the earthquake and he is not in the fire. He is in a gentle whisper.