After getting off of work this afternoon, I decided to take a thought-provoking ride through the Black Forest burn area. For any readers who may not have heard of it, the Black Forest Fire that was put out just over a week ago is the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history. Two people lost their lives, and over 500 homes were destroyed.
Even though the fire has been 100% contained since June 20th, I have been hesitant to ride through the forest because I did not want to hamper any utility or assistance workers who are providing assistance to the many families who need help during this time. After several co-workers assured me that a particular road was okay to travel through (and for further clarification, the road does lead directly to my home on the other side of the forest), I decided to go home via this route today.
The ride was even more sobering than I expected it to be. The devastation of property and the forest really took my by surprise. It is one thing to see a home on fire on TV, but it is quite another to see, in person, only a foundation of a home remaining with nothing else but charred ruins surrounding it. My heart went out to all of the families who lost everything they owned. Seeing the remains of the tragedy right in front of me was yet another reminder that life is short, and we never really know what tomorrow holds.
Seeing the area also made me thankful that we live in a country with well trained firefighters and emergency professionals who risk their lives to protect the life and property of other people they don’t even know. As I close with a single image, I’ll stay with the theme of gratitude. Make time today to be thankful for your family and friends…and then make sure you tell them how much you love them.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:17)