What a month it has been in our fair city.
Having been separated from loved ones for 48 hours and currently evacuated, I can tell you that my story is one of the tame ones. Others, two blocks away, mourn gigantic loss. Our community mourns 20 (to date) lives that left our world in an instant, though some took a week to finally be found; leaving the rest of us in deep thought about God and life.
Maybe God is mad at Montecito, some tweeted; while others said, they should have left when they heard it would come. So many of us by the 101 were placed on voluntary evacuation, and never dreamed this one-in-200-year event could ever take place.
Then, at 2 am last Tuesday, the sky opened up and dumped a half an inch of rain in the span of five minutes. Five inches total over the next six hours. For a community under the hills of the largest fire in California history, one can only imagine the horror, devastation and loss. We are still reeling.
And then, right in the midst of watching the death toll rise, there was an email in my inbox from my TV producer friend, Barry Kibrick. He wanted to let me know my interview (YouTube link below) would be airing on “Between the Lines” on PBS last weekend.
Always one to try to find God’s purpose in the chaos of bad timing, I watched my interview. I knew I would have to wait till after it aired before I could find an appropriate time to post. Photos of lost lives alongside a TV interview on your book doesn’t immediately grab you as appropriate shared space.
The title of the show struck me as coincidental irony as I looked between the fire, mudslides and my first TV interview for how these events could possibly connect.
I still don’t have any leads.
What I do know is that this interview is about viewing life differently, seeing difficulty as the middle and not the end, and ultimately being able to point to a God who has a transcendent story we are a part of- and don’t always see. Mud is covering us but we will emerge. Things that are happening now are leading us to things we cannot yet see.
So here it is- my first ever secular TV interview. I wish I could have introduced it in happier times. Without all the answers of why it came out now, I trust God to use it. And I stand by the faith I have that in our tragedy in Santa Barbara, God will ultimately shine.
Perhaps some of these words of the interview will remind us to wait for a bigger story than the one we now have.
And weaving things together like devastation, wrong timing and a crazy collision of events, are the God of this bigger story’s specialty.
Tune in next week for the first preview of my video series.