What Love Looks Like

Sign earlier this year in front of a local church in the fire zone

The sky is the same.

The way the light slants, the brittle dry trees, even a strong hot wind last week. All the same.

Funny what your body remembers.

My eyes scan the horizon, my nose sniffs for smoke. I wonder about tall narrow cloud formations.

When a helicopter flew low over the house yesterday I was on my feet and at the window watching for a water bucket swinging beneath.

One year ago the fire started. The fire that took 1700 homes. You can't really call today the anniversary of the fire because it lasted for a month. But it started one year ago.

Here's the raw truth: there's a part of me that wants to write a lament. For the past year I have loved on countless people in our little community who experienced utter devastation. I'm not really emergency room material... I get so involved emotionally with people. I internalize, make it my own. There has been much suffering here.

Yes, there is a lament that threatens.


I will not sing that here.

Because stronger and sweeter than the low moan of loss and suffering is the pure melody of love that has wrapped like a soft bandage around the past 366 days.

Deeper and truer is the response of the faithful who lost it all but knew that they had not lost what was most important... Jesus.

So today I honor that. I remember the love and the hope. The new life that was promised, and that has been made good on.

Love? It walks. It has hands. It feeds and shelters and brings gifts.

This is what love looks like....

Loving hands ready to feed

Hand made biscuits... it was the loaves and fishes that first morning

Standing room only for breakfast

Our bed for four nights, in our friend's living room

Sweet and newly born... a precious distraction filled with promise

A shared table covered with laptops and phones... our source of up-to-the-minute info on those we love

People just put things out on their front lawns

Flying and flying and flying with buckets of water

Love = flying straight into a fire


My friend with a hand-crocheted blanket sent from New Mexico

Building shelves for the Book Barn in a donated building

Making lunch for Book Barn volunteers

One family drove 2 hours in 2 SUVs filled with books for the Book Barn

Donated books from all over the country. Complete strangers mailed countless boxes to us.

School supplies donated to the Book Barn (and this was just in the first few days)

The Book Barn for homeschooling families who lost their homes

The sign outside Timberline Fellowship today - Sept 4, 2012

Because what we do, we children of the King, is find the joy in our loss. We look with hopeful eyes and see the blessing of hands that love.

We are never without Him. Even though tested by fire.

The woman in charge of choosing which message to put on the Timberline sign lost her home in the fire.  She shared her testimony at Do Not Depart in May.  It's a must-read.

This Sunday her story was the front page article in the Austin, TX newspaper.  Jesus on the front page, friends.


  1. Oh, Patti, I love this. Thank you for letting us be part of the rejoicing and the thanking and the renewal. What a hard but sweet journey you have shared.

  2. Beautiful, Patti. Our Lord is so precious and so very good!

  3. That's an amazing story of God's redemption. Praying you are getting back on your feet.


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