Where is God?

Good morning all!

Well, I am sitting at the table, looking out the window at the Exploits River flowing peacefully by. In the background the radio plays with updates on the evacuation and fire in Fort McMurray. It has been a tense day or so for many across the country – the people leaving the city and their families waiting to hear updates and concerned for their safety. I was among those waiting last evening as members of my family tried to get out of the city. It was a long night! At 3am the word came that all of our family was indeed out of harms way and getting settled in other places.

As I sit here this morning I cannot help but be thankful for modern technology. It would have been so much more difficult had we not had cell service. Instead of being total basket cases, we were able to be in touch on a regular basis as family made the journey through the city and made it to safe locations. Conversations over coffee this morning include some wonderings about what one takes as you leave in such a situation. For each person, I imagine, those things would be different. Of course one might think about clothes and water but how do you just abandon those things that cannot really be replaced? Some of us might be inclined to say, off handedly, that they are just material possession and what do they really matter. While this might be the case, the things that surround us are filled with memories and stories that speak about our journey. Something that you have had for years perhaps, or photo albums that go back generations, or the family bible that has been passed down to you. So while the most important thing is that the people have escaped without harm there remains the reality that with it comes a great sense of loss for many.

One of the wonderful things in this situation is witnessing the care and concern of communities of people who have rallied to the aid of those fleeing the fire. This is when we are able to see humanity at it’s best – places of safety being offered which provides a much needed sense that we do not walk this way alone; words of encouragement and offers of help shared through the many venues of social media; first responders who are quick to offer assistance and efforts are made to ensure that all people get out; neighbours taking care of neighbours; and so much more. During times of crisis, disaster and unexpected situations we often ask the question “ Where is God in the midst of this?”. I am reminded of another time in my life when I witnessed a community come together to offer hope and compassion and love. At that time I wrote a piece called “ Where is God?”

Where is God
in earthquake, wind or fire
in darkness and distress
where is the God of light?

Look around and you can see…

God..
drives a large red truck
wears protective gear
controls a water hose
comes, despite wind or rain or sun

God
manoeuvres a boat
dawns diving gear
braves the darkness of the water
searching through uncertainty and fear

God
wears a collar
listens attentively
offers arms to hold
providing strength and hope

God
flies a helicopter
circles overhead, again and again
searches diligently
watching from above

God
cooks hot soup
brews tea and coffee
makes sandwiches
tending to the physical needs of body

God
is male and female
young and old and in between
holding, caring, crying, sharing
friend and family and community

May the presence of Divine be seen and felt as communities continue to move through this time.

Blessings
Valerie

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