Friday, November 14, 2008

Selfish With My Treasure

Rejoicing over the bit of snowfall here in Colorado, I was unaware that Southern California was once again losing homes to wildfires. The fires broke out in Montecito, six and a half miles from Santa Barbara. It's on the Ventura County side of the city, and as of this morning, well over one hundred homes have been lost. According to the fire department's press conference this morning, they're not even thinking about containment yet. Phrases like "not out of the woods" and "when the afternoon winds pick back up to around 70 mph" made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Why did I call this blog "Selfish With My Treasure?" I raised three sons in Southern California. I talk to God a lot. Sometimes I call it prayer. More often, I think of it as conversation, even though I know I can't hear Him very well. I try to remember, at least most of the time, that what I want is not always the best thing that could happen. There have been times that I've gotten what I wanted and it hasn't been at all a good thing. Conversely, some of my most reluctant experiences—those I would have turned from if given a choice—have resulted in my deepest and most rewarding blessings.

One prayer I fervently sent heavenward while watching all three of my precious sons grow was, "Please, God, don't let them grow up wanting to be soldiers or fire fighters." I never qualified it. I never once, to the best of my memory, said anything remotely resembling "unless that is Your Will..." It was a selfish prayer, and a regular one. It was accompanied by another, for all the mothers who sent their sons and daughters out to battle the flames and wars for the rest of us. 

I have a fine imagination. I can string together words, envision a story, travel in my mind to places I've never been. I can't conceive, in all the vastness of this mind, a greater pain or emptiness than losing a child of any age. Selfish with my treasure? You bet. At least I recognize them for what they are—always have been. With every fire these days, with every news story of battles and war, my prayer now is, "Thank you for allowing my selfishness. Please protect the treasure of the less selfish mothers."

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