It has been a frightening time for the city of Los Angeles. High winds, extreme heat, blazing fires. For a city that is known for its jammed roads and bumper to bumper traffic, an empty 405 freeway is nothing but eerie. And with children wondering whether or not it is safe to play outside because of the smoky air, October can be spooky in more ways than one.
Another image of the fires continues to catch my eye. As congregants and friends receive news about impending evacuations, they are told to position their car towards the street. A car pointed out so that a quick get-away is available and ready. Pictures after pictures of cars directed towards a journey unknown, directed towards area of safety and calm.
I couldn’t help but juxtapose that image with the hundreds of emails and calls we received offering homes, beds, clothing, food and water. So many of you wondering how they could help and be the person opening their doors to a stranger in need. One frame: cars positioned for safety. The next frame: Angelenos opening their arms to embrace those that needed to flee.
It is astounding how much the heart moves when prompted by a stranger’s cry.
Our tradition reminds us that God isn’t found in the earthquake, nor in the fire. Rather, after the fire, came God’s still, small voice.
After the fire, God’s voice came through all of you. Those that turned their hearts towards those in need.
May those impacted by the fires be safe from harm’s way and may God’s voice continue to reverberate loud and clear.