My brother-in-law is a fire chief in that same town. This has been a pretty rough week for him and all the crews he's been directing. So much chaos, frustration, waiting, helplessness, horror, pain, and tragedy. And now that their area is calming down, there is so much clean-up and restoration that needs to take place.
Sure, the people who've lost homes probably have fire insurance. But fire insurance doesn't cover memories and irreplaceable photographs and baby blankets and grade school art projects. OK, so they're just "things." But even so, each item points to experiences, places, friends and family. Yes, just having each other is absolutely fantastic. But living in a rented place while your home is rebuilt can be mighty stressful. Sorting through the rubble can be overwhelming. Starting over with borrowed and donated items from strangers wanting to help has got to be exhausting.
I hope and pray that people will be able to see God in this tragedy. That He would reveal Himself to them. That this would be an event that draws people closer to Him rather than further away from Him. I also am praying that the churches in the area and even from around the country would respond with compassion and acts of service far beyond what anyone could ever hope for or imagine. That God would lavishly pour out his grace and mercy and love upon people through His people. That the Church would respond quickly, generously, and willingly.