After the fireWritten by hootenannie on June 27th, 2012
If you hadn’t heard, Colorado is burning. There are at least a dozen separate fires racing across the state, some in very close proximity to major cities. In Colorado Springs alone, 32,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.
The images are astounding: smoke billowing from hillsides, flames licking the sky, familiar landmarks in the path of the blaze. I hear about the “thousands of acres” that are on fire, and it’s hard to comprehend just how large an area we’re dealing with, or how long it may take to get it under control; the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins has been burning for 18 days. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, Denver has often been enveloped in a haze.
For as stunning and alarming as the fire itself is, as I scroll through photo slideshows online, I’m more taken with the images of the aftermath: barren hillsides, burned-out tree trunks, quiet devastation. After being ravaged, a small amount of clean-up can be done – but then, the only thing left to do is wait: for new growth, for new life, for a new season.
And waiting can be so hard.
I’m in a season of waiting right now. It’s tough, because my culture has conditioned me to expect quick results and instant relief – but I’ve weathered enough to know that this just can’t be the case all of the time. If you’ve gone through a fire, it takes a long time to rebuild.
The last time I was in Nashville, I saw my friend Brynn Sanchez. If you don’t know Brynn, you’re missing out, because she is one of the top humans on the planet. She told me about singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, and later sent me one of her tracks. Since then, “Show Me” has played at least 3 times a day – early in the morning, driving home from work, before bed. As one who struggles with the concept of prayer (which is another post entirely), this song has been my heartbeat.
“Bring me back to life – but not before you show me how to die.”
My heart breaks for my state, and for the people whose homes have burned. I am so sad for the death of dreams, and I feel for their long road ahead.
But I hope for redemption of what has been lost.
Things will feel better one day. Things will BE better one day. New life is on its way. It just takes time.