Can’t You Hear the Earth is Singing, “Rain Down”
I’m on the way home from Wisconsin. Earlier today I was driving down the interstate at about seventy five when the truck in front of me slammed on his brakes, swerved into the right lane to avoid hitting the car in front of him, then swerved back into the left lane and finally leveled his speed at about fifteen miles an hour. I had a good distance and was able to slow down enough to avoid hitting him. Moments later, I saw the reason for the sudden slow down – a man was standing in the right lane waving an empty fire extinguisher. I saw his car parked on the side of the road with flames pouring out of the trunk. Another car was parked and two young men were running frantically along the highway towards him, one was holding a bottle of water. It felt like every muscle in my body contacted as I tried to keep my cool. I gasped, and my mouth formed the words, “oh my gosh…” But not a sound came out. My parents both calmly said, “Keep driving, Faith, don’t look.”
I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. That man was at the mercy of strangers as he desperately tried to flag someone down. My parents tried to soothe my mind by saying that when we passed, nobody seemed to be injured and there was nothing we could have done.
I couldn’t stop replaying the scene in my head. We had a cooler on the back of our car and beach towels. It only takes a moment to drench a towel.
I know my parents were only being realistic because there wasn’t very much water in the cooler and we have children in the car…but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we should have done more.
As soon as we had passed the stopped vehicles, I started to pray.
In the miles that followed, I tried to shake off my nerves. I could feel the adrenaline twisting in my veins. As the fields dragged by, I started to notice a disturbing pattern – Ashes. There were black fields a far as the eye could see. It was like a desolate wasteland. Every other mile there seemed to be a black tattoo on the land – the mark of destruction. Then it hit me, there was so much more at stake than just that man’s car; it was acres upon acres of farmland, cattle and homes.
Then the signs started to creep up…eerily they flashed, “Burn ban.” “WARNING. High fire risk.” “Drought. No open flame.” Every few miles, flashing lights warned us of the fire dangers. I swallowed hard. Then a prayer rolled through my mind. Like a movie reel stuck in a loop.
Lord, please send the rain…