Thank you for stopping by. The photograph above was taken from my balcony when I lived in Athens. Today, I am in Wales on a rainy day, clearing out my freezers and listening to news reports of my beloved Athens, surrounded by raging wildfires - fanned by hot, strong winds. And I am praying for those winds to drop - which will assist the firefighters in their heroic efforts.
I have witnessed this kind of situation in Greece. I have stood on my balcony and seen the blue sky, showing above, filled with helicopter after helicopter making its way to the sea at the bottom of the road to fill its gigantic bucket and then fly back, blades thwacking at the acrid air, to try to douse the flames.
Thankfully for me, the actual fires were not close enough to be of danger to me. But there is always a chance that that may change. And it is a scary situation, even if the fires are at a little distance from you.
I had to stay indoors and close all windows to prevent breathing in the ash floating in the air. This, instead, liberally coated my white outdoor furniture with black smut, not my lungs. All the while I was praying for the poor people who were in danger of losing their life. And for all the poor animals and creatures that were losing theirs. Then, of course, there is the loss of property: homes, and contents, often garnered over a lifetime. And so much more.
I am sharing this with you so that you can, perhaps, put yourself into the shoes of those in the line of fire and be encouraged to pray fervently for those in danger. Though I am a writer, I can scarcely imagine being caught up in the horror of this situation currently unfolding in Greece. There are reports of over 150 wildfires tearing mercilessly through the country, with two people dead already.
This evening, over the sea of my former home in Palio Falro, the sunset will be a spectacular, surrealistic show. With dark-purple horizontal banners streaming out from the dense black clouds of burnt matter, highlighted by a deep orange glow. A terrible, yet awe-inspiring beautiful sight to behold, which is seared into my memory and bound up with fear and sadness.
And so I ask again that you pray for all involved in this nightmare. You could say the following prayer, of one of your own:
Dear Lord Jesus, please have mercy on the people in Athens caught up in the wildfires, and on every one of Your living creatures. And as You calmed the wind that day on the boat with Your disciples, please do the same now for Greece, and Turkey, and everywhere else under threat of such fires. I ask this in Your name Lord. And I thank You for Your great mercy. Amen.
With every blessing.