Destruction can be described in many different ways. There are some types of destruction that because I have not been through the experience, I can only imagine. Joel said that “it sounds like thunder leaping on mountain ridges, or like the roar of wildfire through grass and brush, or like an invincible army shouting for blood, ready to fight, straining at the bit.” (Joel 2.5) As I watch flames consumes homes, lives, and the environment of Southern California I watch and experience destruction from the outside. I recall documentaries on the heart of armed battles and I can taste the fear rising in my neck. Having experienced a lighting strike within twenty yards of where I was standing I find myself going through the same emotions with each slap of thunder no matter how protected and safe I might be.
Everywhere I look I see the touch of destruction. Lives destroyed and crumbling, families in chaos and facades of morality and ethics blowing off into the wind are just a beginning! It is as if destruction is king of all that we know. Nothing can stand in its way. Everything bows before its step. Yet I see how none of this needs to be.
You and I are reservoirs of hope. We carry memories of God at work – acts of beauty, moments of love, and the ability to do something creative. Just one word, a single act, a brief word is a candle in the darkness all around us. We can make that difference; yet will we make the choice?
One of our obstacles is that destruction breeds fear, legitimate, honest, to the soul kind of fear. Nothing superficial about this! We know what can happen. We have seen lives destroyed. We have felt the pain and suffering, known the uncertainty.
Fear will be with us for some time yet it need not rule our lives. One decision, just one action can make a difference. Beginnings are often hard but with a single step a new creation begins. Today is a time of hope.