This week, a devastating wildfire made its way through Black Forest. A plush, beautiful community adjacent to Colorado Springs.
As I sit here, it is 45% contained, and I can’t tell what is smoke and what are clouds as the winds die down for the evening. It is now the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. The second most destructive was only last year, but on the other side of town.
It’s such a reminder of how vulnerable we really are, and I find myself getting weepy often.
News footage of soot covered firefighters carrying out tiny, spotted fawns from the burn area. Watching hundreds of residents line the streets to encourage and show appreciation for the firefighters as they change shifts. Seeing the Facebook post of someone reunited with his horse after having had to push her out of the gate and let her run because the fire was approaching too quickly. Watching a friend pour over news footage hoping to get the tiniest glimpse of his street or home from the air. Hearing yesterday that one couple didn’t make it out in time.
The thing that really gets me going, though…the thing that pushes me all the way to the ugly cry, are the photos of firefighters and police officers who stand at the edge of destruction, face it head on, and say, “Not Here, No Further”.
Even as I type it, I feel my breath catch and the tears forming. I do so wish I cried gracefully like the women who dab at their cheeks while their eyes glisten. Nope, that’s not me. Anyway…
It brings to memory all of the times when no one stood between the approaching fire and my little girl soul. Nobody stepped in to stop the devastation of abuse. The message to my little girl heart, from the abusers and those who stood by and let it happen, was, “She’s not worth saving, she’s not worth protecting, let her burn”.
I carried that message for decades in the deepest part of my spirit. What I understand now, or at least what I am learning, is that some men desire to protect. Some men defend, some men cherish, and some very brave men fight for the hearts and lives of others. Including mine.
Some amazing men have helped me understand that not all men are looters; taking the most valuable from the most vulnerable. Some men understand what is precious and choose to keep watch.
So, when I see firefighters exhausted from the fight, I’m reminded I’m worth defending. When I see police officers blocking the road saying, “it’s not safe here”, I remember my heart is worth protecting. When I see them sleeping in the road to be ready when the fire approaches, I remember not all men are cowards. Many men, including my Savior, say, “I would give my life for you”.
No matter what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, you are worth fighting for.