Time, Times and Half A Time


Rev 12:14″ And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

It has been just shy of a year, since one of the most horrific events to befall my adopted town took place on a remote ridge:  The Yarnell Hill Fire, which claimed the lives of 19 Wildland Firefighters.  Every family left behind has suffered unimaginable grief.  A widow, just shy of 30 years of age, has the task of raising four children, albeit with a strong, emotionally-supportive extended family and an upstanding Faith Community.  For the past seven months, she, and they, have dealt with a bureaucracy and its supporters, whose mantra has been “Life happens.  Make do with what you have.”

Fine words for those who may have suffered through the Depression, by taking in laundry, picking weeds or digging ditches, but the world has changed a tad.  Much water has gone under many bridges.  The issue in this case, though, is that while all the crew members worked equally as hard as the next, only some, by the interpreted letter of the law, were well-tended by the system.  The rest were to find other means of support.

After 1 1/2 days of hearings, the regulatory authority in this case determined, by majority vote, that the young widow and her children were indeed entitled to full benefits, under the appropriate system.  Our system may be slow, may often need careful, patient action to correct its mistakes, but today is proof that it works.  Today is proof that, even in our times of instant gratification-or-nothing, not giving up is essential.

On a far different note, I came home and read a  lengthy rejoinder to a comment I had made, relative to the Islamic Faith.  The author cites chapter and verse to show that Islam is inherently evil, and that anything said to the contrary is naive and “PC”.  I will obviously have to do a lot of research before responding to the innuendo, just as the legal team which prevailed in this week’s hearing had to do an enormous amount of work, in righting  a serious wrong.

Saint John the Divine, in the passage above, alludes to a desperate soul getting assistance from unlikely sources, and in a most unexpected way.  Those with a stake in an established system will naturally do all they can to guard that system- be it a governmental structure, or a code of beliefs. We must also bear in mind that many a misguided set of beliefs or codes of regulations themselves are rooted in correcting both real and perceived injustice. The needs of the  weak, the suffering, and the pure in heart, however, have a far more powerful set of allies to meet them.  It just takes longer to address them fully.

I also note that another young family, on the other side of the country, received word that THEIR anxiety and difficulties will now also be relieved- on a long-term basis.  Time, and time again, we seek relief.  Never give up!