I’ve heard it before. If you have to evacuate your home what should you take? One year ago we had a devastating fire in our town. While I was concerned, and the direct impact on our family was fairly limited because the fire was “on the other side of town” I really didn’t think much about what I would do in a similar situation. One thing I did do was register for reverse 911 service on my cell phone. My wife and I talked about what we should take if we were ever evacuated, but soon after we had moved back into the rhythm of everyday life. Well, Tuesday of this week we were shaken out of our rhythm by a fire in our neighborhood. Within two hours we were out of our house with what we could take in our cars. This morning I was able to take a look at our home, which is one of the few, still standing on our street. We lost the barn, shed, garage, and our chickens but I am feeling very blessed right now!
I’ve also begun to think a lot about what matters most. When we spent the last few days not knowing the status of our house, it really did become clear; none of the “stuff” in our home mattered. Yes it will be a pain to replace lost things, but they are just that: things.
As I waited in a long line of cars to get to our house for the first time since the fire broke out, I got to talk to a few people who were also waiting. Some talked about those in charge and how they were not doing anything right. The officials are doing a good job; they may not be doing what everybody wants, but I know they can’t. Some are angry because not all the available information is correct. The fire covers 15,000 acres; they are not going to be able to get 100% of the information about every single home right. Some are not happy that they cannot get back into their homes, even though the fire is still burning. I understand the inconvenience that comes with not being able to be in my own home, but I also know that if one of these people were injured in the fire area they would be the first to file a lawsuit.
The bottom line is all of us are safe, my children and wife are unharmed. I don’t know any other way to say it. I do feel blessed that our home still stands, but to have my kids and wife safe makes me fall to my knees and thank God. As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us give thanks for the blessings we have and help others remember those blessings as well!