Tongues of Fire

This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on October 29, 2007.

I’ve spent the last week worrying about fires in San Diego County. Last Monday my mother-in-law woke me up with a phone call at six in the morning. “Don’t worry about us,” she said, “we’re fine, but you’d better call your aunt.”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I still hadn’t seen the news of the growing fires that ended up devastating the communities in San Diego County where my wife’s parents and my mother’s sister live, but I found out quickly and for several days I was unable to keep my mind at home in San Jose. My wife’s childhood stomping grounds were on fire. All told, four homes belonging to members of our extended family were endangered by the fires. Thankfully, everyone in my family survived the fires without losing any property.

But many, many people were not so lucky. Continue reading