Today I went with a response team to a fire scene where two homes were destroyed and a third had received significant external damage. The residents had gone to bed the night before, not aware that, the next morning, their homes would be gone. When I arrived on the scene, the damage was already done; the homes were torn apart, and a smoking pile of ashes was all that was left of the cause of the fire: an old storage shed. Thankfully, everyone got out of the homes without injury--even the pets escaped. However, the damage was irreparable; only bits and pieces could be salvaged. Though there was destruction everywhere, the now-homeless people, including an expecting mother and a few children, were surprisingly hopeful; the mother was happy that everyone got out safely, and everyone was happy when they saw their cat, Snickers, sneaking up to them from across the yard.
The human spirit is an amazing thing. Even when everything, every possession one owns, is destroyed, hope still springs from the depths of the heart. When nothing else is left, we are thankful that we are still alive, that our family members are safe and sound. People start to realize how important their friends and families are, but sometimes, sadly, it takes a tragedy to bring this realization to light.