Finding hope in a sea of blackness

View from Craig’s ranch

We drove to church yesterday, with a black wall to our right half of the way to Reno.

Wildfires licked up just about every spot of green from our place in the Sierra Valley last week almost all the way to the Nevada border.

There were miracles of places and human and animal lives saved. Someone even posted a photo of a baby calf sitting in an unburned patch surrounded by burnt pasture.

But so much black. While I know in my heart that grasses and even wildflowers will push their way through the charcoal earth next spring, seeing that much devastation is . . . hard.

I keep coming back to that image of the sweet calf and I wonder. How can goodness prevail in such an unkind world? How can hope prevail when we see such suffering around us? How can faith prevail when prayers go unanswered?

Such a communal struggle brings out the best in a community. Folks volunteered their homes to strangers. People hauled others’ animals out of mandatory evacuation areas. Signs for for the 700+ firefighters appeared around the community (folks, 700 firefighters doubled the size of our town). A fundraising effort for a local horseshoer who lost his home was around the $15,000 level.

And in the collective mourning for the loss of beautiful areas around us, we have a shared experience and understanding of the preciousness of life and each other.

So, shifting from the trauma to recovery mode, I have a greater appreciation for God’s mercies and his presence in my life and in this community. Keep #LookingUp.

Janet McHenry lives in the Sierra Valley with her rancher husband Craig. A former educator, she is the author of 24 books–six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. The director of the prayer ministries at her church, she has been prayerwalking for her community for the last 22 years. She would love to speak at your next event and can be contacted through her website, https://www.janetmchenry.com

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