This has been a terrible fire season in the Pacific Northwest, but there is one group of firefighters i have a special bond with. Several years ago my nephew Reen went to Israel and he took one of Dad’s rocks, which he placed at a sacred site in the Holy Land. He also brought back some soil from Mt Olivet (the Mount of Olives), the site of Jesus’ accession into heaven. I have been able to use this soil to make stones for special people through the years.
My friend Debbie’s brother is a wildland fire fighter, and one summer she asked me to make Mount of Olives rocks for her brother and his crew, feeling they would be protected and comforted in their treacherous work. She continued this tradition every fire season for several years, and I am grateful that all of these firefighters returned home safely.
It is a lot different working with soil than sand…it has more organic material which releases gases in the firing process, creating a bubble. But I love this bubble, thinking of it as the breath of God. Recently I had the honor of making stones for the leadership team of a new church being established in Salem, the Red Door church. Like the rocks, these folks will be tested by fire but will transform and emerge more beautiful than ever.