Now we watch the weather forecast for signs of much-needed rain or, worse, lightning.
We check the news to see the status of existing fires and how many have started since we last checked.
We watch planes and helicopters fly overhead, fighting war against fires burning all over the province.
We lift our eyes to the skies and the smoke.
We appreciate times when it’s clear enough to go outside.
Sometimes our eyes and throats burn.
Sometimes the smoke is so thick we can smell it inside the house.
We pray for those fighting fires, those who have lost their homes and community, and those who are evacuated, who wait and wonder.
Our eyes scan the horizon and we are on edge.
This, the latest in a long string of things with the power steal our peace.
I think, often, of Julian of Norwich.
All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
And of Jesus.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27 NLT)
And of my old friend, Frederick Buechner. (Highlight mine.)
The grace of God means something like: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.
There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.
Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.
As the heat and the drought and the fires rage on, to the extent that we’re able, let’s choose peace.
And when this storm passes, let’s hold on to it.
When we drop it let’s reach out and pick it up.
If we see someone else who has dropped it and is fumbling around trying to find it, let’s pick it up amd offer it to them.
Whether the storm comes in the form of fire or sickness or any of the other insidious forms storms can take, let’s remember the principles we need to weather them are the same.
All shall be well.