The week started sitting at my desk with two computer monitors. Behind those monitors are two windows looking at the Verdugo Hills of southern California. I never looked past the monitors during the week. When I was not working, I was watching southeastern Texas – stories of destruction and devastation, stories of heroism and neighborliness – I was reaching out to friends in the region to make sure they were OK. Finally Friday morning from this same desk, I started distributing resources to those on the front line. Friday afternoon I felt free to finally appreciate the view behind the monitors.
All week in SoCal has been immensely hot. Over 100 hot. We always get a few weeks like that every year, but one always worries. The most dreaded natural disaster in this region is, of course, earthquake. But there is another one, far more common even if the scope of its destruction is far more limited – wildfire. Friday afternoon I looked behind the monitors and there it was, a plume of smoke. Not too bad, a few acres, I was thinking they’d get it knocked down in an hour or so. La Tuna Canyon is a little bit of wilderness, about 5 miles from here, surrounded by population, near the northern edge of the Los Angeles Basin. No such luck on getting it knocked down. By dusk there were evacuations of nearby neighborhoods. As my wife and I took our evening walk, through the ashfall, we encountered people that had been evacuated and helped them find a place for their pets so they could stay with friends that could not accommodate the pets. This morning I woke up to reports of the fire having taken more than 1500 acres and still going strong. The fire is moving away from us for the most part but at one point during the night the glow was quite ominous on the hilly horizon. Sleep was difficult during the night. The local freeway is closed and our street has become a noisy, traffic filled bypass. As I write, sirens wail by – more resources on their way to fight the fire.
Then there is Irma.
I feel like the fight scene in an old Batman TV show – BANG! – POW!! – WHAM!!!
Life has many seasons like this – some very personal – some, like what is happening now, are large and communal. For whatever reasons it just seems like difficult things stack close together, one on top of another. Everybody helps everybody else as much as they can, but when the hits just keep coming like this one begins to wonder if enough resources exist. They do.
When confronted with a series of difficulties, King David of ancient Israel wrote a poem. It is most apropos the week that has been and still is
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
There are enough resources because God has unlimited resources at His disposal. What else could we need?