Today I was listening to the news about the wildfire that is currently devastating a large area in Colorado. My heart goes out to the people who have been displaced by fire. Fortunately, considering the size of fire and the length of time it has continued to burn, few people have been killed; but the loss of even one life is very sad. How devastating to know that someone has been killed in this dreadful fashion.
There is also something else that leads me to empathize with the people in the path of the fire–another cause for much sadness in the communities that have been overcome by the flames. Many, many homes have been lost.
Imagine how all those people who have lost their homes must be feeling. Chances are most of them are saying to other family members, “At least we still have each other.” That is a comfort to them I’m sure, but there is no denying that the loss of the home itself is nearly as devastating as the loss of a family member.
Imagine if the room where you saw your toddler take her first faltering steps was suddenly gone, totally blown away on a roaring blaze that left nothing behind but a smoking pile of rubble. What about your grandmother’s china that has held cherished place in your home since the day when you were a newlywed and your mother passed it on to you?
A house takes on a life of its own. It is in truth part of the family. After losing it, you may never quite feel that any place is “home” to you again. I’m sure some people had enough warning to take their most prized possessions with them when they evacuated, but anyone who leaves home in an emergency will almost certainly forget some things with which they have sentimental connections. When the time comes that they think about one of those items and realize they left it behind, they will feel another small taste of the overwhelming sense of loss they are now experiencing. Those who have lost everything will soon be living in houses filled with possessions with which they have no history. For them, feeling that their new house is their “home” may take some time.
Those of us who are living in other parts of the country that have not been hit with this mighty scourge should offer up prayers for all those people who are undergoing such suffering. I live in the Midwest and everywhere around me everything is dry as tinder from our ongoing drought. We could be next to suffer fire or another great disaster.
If a disaster were to hit where I live, I would truly appreciate knowing that people across the nation were praying for those of us who were suffering. We owe it to the people of Colorado, undergoing tremendous suffering right now, to offer them all the comfort that prayer can bring.