Life and Death in Arizona


The fatal Yarnell fire in Arizona


The big news here in Arizona tonight is the death of nineteen firefighters near Prescott.  It’s the biggest American loss to a wildfire in eighty years, since the great 1933 Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles.  Horrifying, and horrifically painful to contemplate.


On the other hand:  Flying from Salt Lake City to Phoenix today, I sat next to a woman who was, she said, headed to Arizona for medical treatment.  She comes every three weeks, from the greater Seattle area.  I was, I assume, pretty visibly surprised at such a schedule, so she waxed lyrical about her experience with the Arizona facility of Cancer Treatment Center of America.  Seriously.  She went on and on about the quality of the medical care, the solicitousness of doctors and nurses, the excellent food, the full range of services from travel to lodging to spiritual care to acupuncture, the farm surrounding the facility on which it grows the organic produce for its kitchen.  She was in really good spirits, having just received excellent results from a check-up with her doctor back in Washington.  I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard such heartfelt enthusiasm for a hospital.


Death and life.  Bitterly painful loss — but also victory.  This life is hard.  But there’s good in it.


Posted from Phoenix, Arizona



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  • David H

    I am so sad to hear this news. I have a son serving as a missionary in Prescott, near where those firefighters died. I appreciate the “On the other hand” that you also posted. Thank you for not just posting bad news, but also showing faith in Jesus Christ and the resurrection.

    • DanielPeterson

      Without such faith, life would, sometimes, be awfully hard to bear.

  • rockyrd

    Speaking in the Phoenix area? I’ll come if you are.

    • DanielPeterson

      Alas, no. Just passing quickly through for personal reasons, en route — odd route! — to, among other things, speaking in London and Oxford.