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Pastor’s Blog

On the Path

Categories: Blog Post


Oklahoma has seen its share of devastation from wildfires through the years. Wildfires are unplanned, unwanted, and uncontrolled. Most are started by humans, usually unintentionally. Growing up on the farm and living close to the Wichita Wildlife refuge, I also have seen many prescribed burns, a fire that is set intentionally, for the purpose of maintaining the ecosystem.
One thing that is common to both a prescribed burn and a wildfire is that after the flames die out, the earth looks scorched and barren. Looking out over the ashes it is hard to imagine how the earth might ever come to life again. I am always amazed at how resilient the earth is. Out of the ashes, green shoots, and signs of life begin to emerge. Out of death, the earth is resurrected into new life as the meadowlark sings a song of hope over the plains. Flowers in shades of purple pop up across the blackened ground, fixing nitrogen in the earth, making it possible for the growth of other plants. I am reminded of a poem called Flowers After a Wildfire, by Sally Clark:

“There, look, see-
in the place where the wind
blew the brush fire through
the summer pasture, burning
every blade of quiet grass, cremating
every ground-hugging insect, chasing
every feral rabbit toward
the safety of the wet creek,
the wildflowers are blooming,
bright sky bluebonnets,
red-orange flames of Indian Paintbrushes,
tiny yellow-sunned coreopsis, thicker here
than any part of the unscarred field,
a phoenix of color rising from the ashes,
a faith that flowers through the flames.”

Faith that flowers through the flames. The past several weeks as a congregation we have experienced numerous losses of dear friends. As we have walked through this difficult time, your faith has been shared in so many beautiful ways. You continue to demonstrate how resilient we can be. The resilience demonstrated by God’s creation after difficult times is sacred and holy. When we go through the hard times, we are transformed. Like Jacob wrestling with the Angel, we maybe scarred from the experience, but we are also transformed by hope. Going through the fires of life, invites us open our hearts beauty of the holy that is rising out of the ashes around us.