There really wasn’t much I could do. I live four hours away from my sister who had to evacuate from one of the major California fires. Fortunately, our cousin could take her in, my sister found shelter for her pets and as of yesterday, her house was still standing. I can’t imagine the stress and weariness that comes from either losing your home in a fire or coming close to it.
I just received a text from my coworker, who also evacuated from her home in Oregon. If anyone tries to tell you that climate change is not a real thing—don’t believe them! The bottom line is, I felt helpless. What could I do? Prayer was the first thing I did when I heard the news. Despite the falling ash around our home, we are not in danger. We only have the “fall out” (literally) of the many fires burning around us.
Unable to breathe outside, I stayed indoors and prayed. Just as I prayed, a bed ruffle I ordered for our guest bed arrived at my door. I told my sister when she could return home and when she was ready for a vacation and when the smoke and ash had cleared from our little town, and when there was no threat of COVID, she was welcome. I wanted her to rest from her struggles, but there were so many hurdles.
Ash continued to fall outside as I set up my (now old-fashioned) ironing board and I started praying and ironing. I prayed for God’s hands cupped over homes and people and pets. I prayed for winds not to shift in one area and to shift in another. I asked God to give my sister and coworker extra strength and energy to get through these trying times. It’s been a weary year for sure!
Yet, as I prayed and ironed the bed ruffle, I felt God’s peace. I know I can’t do much, but I can prepare a place of rest and respite from the storms and trials of life for family, friends and strangers too. I can be a listening ear for the weary, I can donate to relief efforts and most important—I can pray.
Prayers through ashes and bed ruffles. No matter what you offer, it all makes a difference and we can trust that God is, and always shall be—with us through it all.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Visit our Rest and Renewal page at Holy Listening.