Colorado Springs Fire: More Than Just ‘Bad News’

I follow Rachelle Gardener’s Blog , Literary agent, to learn and observe, as I move closer to publishing my book. (Fellow authors, she’s worth following!) Her posts are easy to read, informative and helpful, and offer a balanced view on a variety of topics. What’s more, she doesn’t shoot down the self-publishing option! And that’s important to me because I see a lot of advantages to it. (See her post Is the Sky Falling.)

This morning Rachelle’s blog post  was simply titled, Fire. She wrote a short piece, asking for prayer as the wildfires rage, and included a few pictures, showing the devastation of the fire. Rachelle lives near the fires, and her husband, a wildland certified firefighter for the city of Colorado Springs, is in the front lines.

Even though I’ve never met Rachelle, I’ve learned from her and appreciate how she invests in writers. I have a certain perceptions of her personality, of who she is and in that sense I feel I know her. I had heard of the fires previously—it’s all over Facebook, Twitter, the News and I’m sure every other social media—and had prayed. But something happens, when it involves someone you feel a connection to, that makes it more real and personal.

With News updates at our disposal, only seconds after an event takes place, we have become desensitized, sensationalized and detached from the hurting world around us. At least I have. It isn’t that I don’t care—I care a lot and friends will tell you I’m the first to need a Kleenex in the face of another’s suffering. (In a recent Bible Study the group quickly learned that the box of tissues should be placed at my feet, because, as people shared their stories and their pain, my heart was moved to tears. We playfully called it my Wednesday night allergies. I have a compassionate heart.)

We watch this stuff every day on TV shows and movies, where no one gets hurt, and we tend to compare real life with what we see on TV. This is reflected in the following excerpt from and article in the San Fransisco Chronicle, “It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said after flying over the 9-square-mile fire late Tuesday. “It’s almost surreal. You look at that, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.”

Subconsciously, I know it impacts my perception of the real world.  When tragedy strikes, it is harder for me to grasp that these are real people with real lives, experiencing unspeakable devastation and pain.

With her simple request for prayer, not having the heart to write a regular post, Rachelle made it real and personal for me. I pray that the capacity to care, the heart to reach out and offer assistance, and the passion that cries out to God on behalf of the hurting, is never lost in me because I have become desensitized to pain and suffering.

My prayer this morning, for the City of Colorado Springs, is that God will intervene, that His presence will be powerfully present, to comfort. I pray that no more lives will be lost and needs of the displaced will be met. And I pray for rain, or whatever environmental conditions are most needed to help stop the spread of this fire.