My Life Flows on in Endless Song
by Kathye Hamm
On Friday morning, I looked out my window and saw Cameron climb out of his parents’ van. Cameron is our son Nikolas’ best friend. He attends Chico State. We’ve often spoke about his time there as a student, since it is my alma mater. Then I saw two other boys step out of the van.
Cameron said they all had to leave Chico because of the Camp Fire – which has left the small town of Paradise, twelve miles outside of Chico, nothing but charred remains of homes and cars on the sides of the roads. He introduced me to his roommate, Riley, who is from Thousand Oaks, and Sean who is from Tiburon. I felt so badly for all three of them – but especially Riley. Riley had to leave his college because of a fire, and his family back home had to evacuate their family home – because of a fire. I’m so glad Cameron’s parents told them all to come to San Rafael. I stood on our front lawn and spoke for a while with those young men. I told them that I would be praying for them.
Today I called my friend Jamie. She lives in Chico and is a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Chico – the church I attended when I was a student there. She is our daughter Hannah’s Godmother. She shared with me that on the first day of the fire, everything was black. You had to turn your car lights on to see down the road. The next few days all was grey. There is ash falling constantly – everywhere. She says it is like a soft snow, and would be beautiful, except for the fact that you realize it’s not snow. She and her husband, Ralph – who is our son Nikolas’ Godfather – are not 100% certain that their home is safe. They aren’t sleeping well at night.
She was so grateful that Bishop Mark worshiped at Faith on Sunday. She felt that he brought them hope with his presence, and support with gift cards provided by our synod in advance of additional gift cards that Lutheran Disaster Response and Lutheran Social Services will make available in the coming weeks for those in need. Members of Paradise Lutheran Church worshipped at Faith because the town of Paradise is still closed to all but first responders.
She was also grateful that the worship leaders chose this hymn with which to conclude the service:
My Life Flows On in Endless Song ELW # 763
My life flows on in endless song; above the earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?
May God bless all of those affected by this fire and the fires in southern California. May God strengthen and protect the 4,300 firefighters who are battling the flames. And may God bring peace to those who have lost a loved one as a result of these fires.
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