So Much Smoke
There are dozens of wildfires choking the air of the southeast with so much smoke it has become difficult to breathe. Higher than normal temperatures and an unrelenting drought coupled with falling leaves has magnified the air problem here in Chattanooga. It's miserable –especially for those tasked with putting the fires out. A soaking, week-long downpour would be absolutely welcome. We need rain in the worst possible way. We desperately, desperately need rain. Not everyone can be a firefighter, so there's nothing that most of us can really do about it but pray.
Yesterday afternoon, Alison and I were meeting with a social worker from our chosen adoption agency when a thought struck me: the world's orphan crisis is sort of like these wildfires. But instead of forests burning away, children's very lives are burning away. It's happening all around us out there, and we're totally saturated in the evidence of it. We can practically smell it. And I once blindly thought that the professionals would just take care of it while I waited it out at a safe distance. I wasn't really concerned. Out of sight, out of mind. Of course, not everyone can adopt children, but I didn't even bother to pray for the world's orphans.
Our lives are a bit like smoke, too, and we vanish away like a vapor (James 4:14). What will my legacy be? Should I sit by while the fire spreads? Should I look the other way when scripture says we should "give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute" (Ps. 82:3)? Will people wonder in awe at God because of my choices in life? Or will those who come after shake their heads at how my life was one of quiet comfort and complacency? Let it not be said of me when I die, "He attempted nothing for God, and he expected nothing from God."
How sad that would be.