Although it is mid-November, the wildfire season here in California isn’t over. Northern California was forcibly reminded of that fact yesterday when a devastating fire blew up in Butte County, wiping out the charming mountain city of Paradise in a single day. As I write this, the fire continues to rage with more people being evacuated from their homes almost hourly. Those of us outside the danger zone, from everyday citizens to well-known officials, offer thoughts and prayers for those being so horribly impacted by this blaze.
Whenever such a tragedy strikes, social media is flooded with the same messages of sympathy, only to be followed, inevitably, by snarky comments from non-believers about the foolishness of prayer.
As a Christian with faith in the power of sincere prayers, I’ve often wondered about the efficacy of sending thoughts.
While watching the coverage of this current disaster happening to people living only an hour away, some of them personal friends or family of friends, it occurred to me that without those thoughts of sympathy and shared pain, the prayers would never come.
Our thoughts are the impetus for all except instinctive actions and the most beneficial activities are usually those stemming from the most prior thought. Hence, the expression, “How thoughtful!” while emotional “gut reactions” can lead to a contrite, “Sorry, I just didn’t think.”
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
The victims of today’s catastrophe need our sincere thoughts, prayers, and actions. If your thoughts lead you to share, please click on the link to donate to the Butte County fire victims.