The sound of her voice was matter-of-fact, but the words had a tragic yet touching implication. “The fire came to the edge of our driveway and stopped”, the young girl said. “But it would have been better if our house had burned, because it burned a bigger community instead”.
Wow. What was I hearing? Apparently this child believed that her house was saved from the Waldo Canyon Fire at the expense of others. An adult challenged her remark right away by saying,
- The fact that your house didn’t burn has nothing to do with the fact that theirs did. You can be happy your house is okay and also sad that theirs burned.
My heart melted as I listened to the discussion. Yes, it was a shift in the wind that changed the fate of so many that day. But it wasn’t as if other houses were burned because hers was saved.
Underneath this rather tragic conflation of two events and misplaced sense of responsibility, shone a beautiful and generous young heart that yearned for the greater good, even at her own expense.
I was moved by this display of kindness – one of many that I have been privileged to experience in recent weeks.