I remember when I was growing up my mom used to tell us that good things come in small packages – this was her way of explaining small gift boxes, me being the youngest & smallest of the family and many other things. The other day, on a coaching call with one of my clients, I was reminded of this saying . . . and that good things come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, colors and even smells!
We were taking about different life events that have happened recently and things that are coming up in the near future and I made a comment that went something like “God amazes me at how He makes gifts out of things that are wrapped in crap.” We chuckled at my comment and then I paused and realized how silly and yet profound what I said really was.
How many times do we have unexpected, “crappy” events happen in our lives and we dwell on what could have been? Having only been in Colorado Springs for 5 weeks now and having seen 2 tornadoes, a hail storm (yes, in June!) and the most destructive fire in Colorado history – this last one I had a front row seat for off of our balcony that faces west & Pikes Peak – it is fair to say that moving here has not quite been the experience I initially thought it would be and yet within all of these “smelly” circumstances, God has brought amazing gifts – for me and for others.
As I sat on my balcony, inhaling the smell of smoke and tragedy, watching the side of the mountain burn, I saw the tragedy of people’s homes, belongings, pictures, mementoes being burned to ground . . . and yet all I could see was the opportunity that sat in front of my new community. I watched the news to see almost all of the displaced evacuees staying with family or friends – not in hotels, motels or the centers that had been set up in high schools. I saw people reaching out to house pets, move livestock, provide food, water, clothing and other needs to strangers. Firefighters from all over the nation and every branch of the military came in to fight this massive firestorm . . . and at no point was there a lack of communication with the public. Three times a day at a minimum, the united task force shared information via press conferences – even if the update was simply “we don’t have any new information.”
The fire is out now and it is time to rebuild . . . destroyed homes, smoke damaged homes, displaced families and more lay in front of our new community . . . truly a “crappy” looking and smelling package. Is there a gift wrapped up in the middle of this? We have 346 homes that need to be rebuilt, the Flying W Ranch – an icon within the Springs – is committed to rebuilding after being burned to the ground, a community united and committed to supporting each other any way possible, families blessed with realizing that having each other is more important than their material stuff, new friends created through coming together to support each other and the community, blocks within the neighborhoods staying in the same hotels or areas in order to provide support for each other and keep their own sub-community together . . .
What do you think? A blessing or a curse? A gift wrapped in really stinky packaging? I am leaning towards the last option – I see the Phoenix rising from the ashes – stronger, more support, more beautiful than ever . . . and the burn scar across the face of the mountain? A reminder that God can turn even the ugliest, smelliest, destructive event into something beautiful, blessed and strong!!!!!