This evening I heard the words "this will not be another Katrina." These are words that I heard over the radio. A quote from the President. I wonder what that means...and wait...and we all wait.
When I stepped outside the office today the air was dry, strange, thick, heavy, a mix of smoke and ash. Yes there was ash on my car. They say it is not healthy to breathe this air. As I drove home the setting sun was a strange bloody red. The sky a strange mix of red and grey. I saw smoke in every direction. I just have to drive about 45 minutes north or an hour east, west, or south, and I am bound to run into these wild fires. Some of them are no longer wild fires, they are firestorms. Dangerous infernos.
The images that I see on television are mesmerizing and also saddening at times. A home that takes more than six months to build is reduced to ash in less than five minutes. This is not the first time that I have seen this, but it continues to amaze me. This is life in southern California during fire season.
People continue to lose their homes. Some of the homes are miraculously spared. Some people are sad, some mad, and some without any emotions yet. This is indeed the price of living in southern California.
In the midst of this all I invite you to be in an attitude of prayer and awareness.
Pray for all the people out here who have lost everything they had.--Valentina Satvedi is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and co-director of Mennonite Central Committee’s Anti-Racism Program. She lives in Glendale, Calif.
Pray for those who have been evacuated from their homes and have no idea of when they get to return home.
Pray for all helping fight fires over land and through air.
Pray for those who feel slighted that the firefighters did not get to them at all to save their homes.
Pray that help arrives for all those in need.
Pray that every one regardless of their status, the color of their skin, the level of their education, receive help.
Pray that the weather changes soon, that the winds (the Santa Anas) subside and there is some relief.
Lord have mercy.
Source: 10/24/2007 Newsline Special Report