I met some firefighters at the grocery store this evening. They were in town picking up snacks and toiletries and enjoying the luxury of cell service. Everyone smiled at them.
The men and women who fight forest fires are heroes around here. They leave behind a cloud of ashes and the smell of smoke wherever they go, but they take with them the sincere thanks of people who live in British Columbia. This time they also received free advice from a kind soul who warned them to be careful.
“You need to keep your noses open because if you smell smoke there will be a fire somewhere,” he grinned, proud of remembering an important lesson. He told them if he had money he would take them all out for a drink. They thanked him graciously. They knew he meant it.
I asked which fire they were working. It was the big one that threatened the city of Kimberley and the beautiful valley of St. Mary’s Lake. “But we had lots of rain this week, so we should be finishing up soon,” one guy said.
One of my friends has been working at the perimeter of the same fire. He guards fire-fighting equipment all night because, believe it or not, thieves like to steal tools and machinery that men and women use to save lives and property – perhaps even the thieves’ own. Some people are givers and some are takers. Lord, help us all.
Yesterday I followed dramatic skies up to a little lake in the hills. I had to tuck my camera under my jacket and run back to the car when it began to rain. In a few minutes it began to pour.
After a while a gap in the clouds allowed the sun to pour through at the same time.
We prayed so long for rain. And it came.
Rain feels beautifully cleansing and refreshing after a season of choking on smoke and watching for evacuation alerts. I felt thankful — thankful for the fire crews, thankful for the rain, and thankful for the green forests I love so much.
There is something about almost losing something that increases its value.
For those of you who have lost homes and beautiful wooded views, I am so sorry. May the change of seasons bring you hope of new beginnings.
We all need hope. Hope teaches us to dance in the rain by faith before the day comes when our clothes get soaked and we dash for the car.
So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain…
(Hosea 6:3 NASB)