Sunday, November 16, 2008


On Sunday, November 9, our family spent the evening with our dear friends, the Elliotts, at the home of our dear friends Russell, Allison and Travis Smelley. We enjoyed a meal together and shared our lives as we have so often done over the years. On Thursday night November 13, around 6pm, a vicious firestorm ripped through their neighborhood. Though Russell, Allison and Travis survived, their house did not. Everything but the few things they could quickly gather was destroyed.
In the days since I have thought about all the things I have known in their house over the years. I could describe to you the set up in great detail. Those things are now only memories. Possessions collected through a lifetime have succumbed to fire and floated as ashes.

Sadness and a sense of tragedy have rolled over me. The "pause button" has been pushed on my life and I am once again taking stock of what really matters. I do have lots of wonderful things I would be sad to lose. Would I rather have them or my life with my family? You know the answer.

The Smelley family may have lost their house but their "home" continues to live. One thing we can count on: we will one day part with all we possess but we are lovingly owned by God and in Him we always have a home.

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