This is Oregon, my friend said when she came to pick up some clothing for friends who have evacuated and still don’t know if their house remains standing. Not the things that hit the news across the nation, like the unrest, the politics, and other things. Somehow the things that loomed so large a few weeks ago pale in significance. Instead of stories of crime rates rising, we hear of the beautiful hearts of folks. People helping others. Rescuing horses, cattle and other livestock, sharing quilts, eye drops, and shampoo for those evacuated. Loaning a barn or a trailer to help evacuate some cows or a border collie. Privately owned excavation companies sending men and heavy equipment to save whole communities from the consuming flames, and the Redneck Crew fighting fires because somebody has to save these homes. Helping others even when they might have suffered profound loss themselves.
This is our beloved Oregon. Pulling together to fight fires and then to recover afterwards, when the smoke begins to clear, and some are able to return home. Those with pioneering spirits and a work ethic, who live faithful lives and love their families and others well. Those who pray through the night hours for the winds to shift and for safety for those fighting fires, and for homes to be spared. They are the salt of the earth who don’t assume the government needs to take care of their every need, and who sacrificially care for others and accept responsibility for the people and land they love…who roll up their flannel sleeves and get ‘er done, trusting God for the endurance needed in times of crisis….this is Oregon.