This past weekend we traveled to Colorado Springs to celebrate with my nephew on the occasion of his marriage.
It was happiness. It was a sweet little wedding out in the middle of Colorado Springs’ beautiful countryside. Family traveled from all over the country to express the wonderful privilege of family as we rejoiced with those who rejoice. The groom was smitten. The bride was tender. Just like a wedding should be.
I often think we take for granted the way things should be.
As I was reminded when we woke up the next day to the smell of smoke. A fire on a nearby hillside was polluting the city with smoke and ash. We spent the remainder of our time repeating, “So sad. So sad” as we watched the fire spread its destruction. Tonight I learned the place where my nephew was married had succumbed to the flames. So sad.
By now, everyone has seen the pictures like this one I found on Twitter:
It is so sad. The fire in Colorado Springs continues to rage and lives will be marked forever, smoldering with pain. In some cases, pain is all the fire leaves behind.
As I’ve read the news reports tonight indicating how firefighters never anticipated the fire to gain the momentum it has, it got me thinking about so many other things in life. It’s so easy for a conflict to “jump the fire lines” and rage out of control, leaving only pain behind. Hearts consumed by the heat of pride, unforgiveness, and selfishness. I wonder how many relationships lay as rubble and ashes simply because someone didn’t realize how big a little fire of deception or self-righteousness could grow? It is so sad.
When I think about some loved ones whose hearts are left with only the remains of pain from a relational fire that has burned out of control, I wish I knew how to put out the fire. But I don’t. I can only survey the destruction and say, “So sad.”
There are some things, okay, many things in life that just don’t make any sense. The bad guy shouldn’t win. The unjust should not receive redemptive passes. Bullies shouldn’t receive mercy. The faithful shouldn’t be abandoned. Yet, we all have story after story where the unthinkable happens.
Where is God when fires burn and hearts aches? Where is His power? His intervention? His justice? His mercy?
I don’t know exactly how to answer that. However I do know that the Spirit hovered over the dark expanse of the unexplainable at the beginning of time (Gen. 1:2) and I am convinced that He still does. Isaiah 61 says that this same Spirit is the Spirit of anointment for Christ’s redemptive mission to bind up the brokenhearted. God is still hovering over the painful, dark and it-makes-no-sense places in our lives. In His time, in His way, He will move. Wait for Him. From the ashes, He will restore. It is sad now, but it will not be forever. In the end, it will be happiness.
“To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” ~Isaiah 61:3.