It’s been a challenging weekend for us in South East Queensland. Bushfires of an intensity that were traditionally only experienced south of the border have loomed over our towns and burnt out one of our iconic areas. A place of heart-restoring memories is ruined.
And the weather forecasters say we’re looking at a dry, hot summer.
UnitingCare has already deployed community recovery workers and the Synod’s Disaster Response Committee is engaging with our congregational leaders in the thick of it.
We’re in a bit of shock down here in South East Queensland.
We are reminded again of our smallness and our vulnerability in the face of nature’s rage.
We’re forever grateful for the women and men who give up their time, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect life and property.
We will rally again, and the earth will heal itself. The wider community will come to support and rebuild and we will learn from this.
Some might ask, “Where is God in all of this?”
I’m reminded of a story my dad told about one of his grazier mates back in a drought in the 1980s in western Queensland.
A journalist had asked the grazier this same question as they were pushing mulga (you could do that back then) to feed starving stock.
“Where’s God?” responded the grazier. “He’s here mate, he’s in the wind going through the trees. I couldn’t survive this without him.”
We might find God in the strength of community support; we might be called to be God’s hands and feet and face in supporting others—we might just know his presence.
There will be times when we feel lost and abandoned, but one thing we do know in the light of the story of Jesus—we are not forsaken.
That’s what we’re called to experience and give life to today.