I have finally found a moment to stop and reflect. The last few days have been spent sorting through charred remains and retrieving anything worthwhile or important. The emotions have been going through the “Elizabeth Kubler Ross cycle”. And then, some of us are starting to smell like walking fire victims!
As an exercise it reveals a lot about yourself. As we go through the rubble, the TV, fridge, washing machine or camera mean very little. The treadmill was a little more difficult because my daughter remembers the hours it took to put the thing together. But the tears flow for the lost memories of baby clothes, a cross stitch from a departed oma, cards and presents from students, toys kept for thirty years and so on – of no value to anyone but the owner. On the bedroom door of one daughter were charred quotes and passages from Scripture which all seemed very apt – that left a lump in our throats. Yes, God “will help us through the difficult times”.
Just as with a physical assault victim, this assault, although not directly physical on a person, is still real and will take time to heal. All the documents, passports, certificates, tax information will need to be replaced. This takes time. The cost is enormous: the emotional cost – trusting people, and the physical cost – for days now and for days in the future friends and family will be cleaning, scrubbing, replacing and moving things from one city to another, and then back again when a new house is found. Just to this point we have spent well over 100 man hours, and we are nowhere near the end. I haven’t included house hunting, police interviews and time on the telephone changing details and etc.
For me, as a dad, I am praying desperately not to become bitter and vengeful. This is of no help to anyone. Constantly I am seeking God’s grace and being reminded how forgiving He was of me. That is a humbling reminder. Sanctification, daily being made into Jesus, is an ongoing process. God is having to work quite hard on me just at this moment. Then again, He has had to that on many other occasions.