With endless stories of death and destruction pouring out of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and surrounding areas that were hit by recent horrific wildfires, we have to cling to any and every sign of good news.
One reporter for CNN-affiliate WVLT recently captured footage of a statue amid the ashy devastation that symbolized perhaps the greatest sign of “good news” that ever existed — Jesus Christ.
Kelsey Leyrer and her crew were at a Sevier County home that had been burned to the ground, with everything destroyed except for that statue, which was covered with soot and ashes but still standing, according to CNN.
Leyrer realized the significance of the statue and posted a photo of the unbelievable scene to Twitter.
“A statue of Jesus is the only thing standing after this Sevier County house burned to the ground,” she wrote.
Wildfires had been threatening entire portions of the Southeast in recent weeks, but the Gatlinburg and Sevier County fire was reportedly caused by humans around Nov. 23 near the Chimney Tops, a local hiking area, according to WVLT.
By Nov. 26, the wildfire had grown to eight acres, and on Nov. 27 it spread outside the containment area because of 20-m.p.h. winds, which prompted officials to order a mandatory evacuation of roughly 14,000 people in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.
At least 14 people have been confirmed dead in the fires, with more than 130 injured, as of Monday afternoon, according to WVLT.
But, even through the death and destruction, the community has rallied together and relied on each other and God to survive the heartbreaking situation.
“God was watching over us,” one survivor told WVLT, which many would argue was made evident by the Jesus statue.
However, the statue wasn’t the only religious item that survived the wildfires, as Isaac McCord, an employee at the Dollywood theme park, found a partially burned page from the Bible while officials were surveying the park for damage and debris.
The part of the passage from the book of Joel that was readable read, “O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.”
“It provides hope and faith,” McCord said.
It certainly does. And right now the people and businesses of Gatlinburg and Sevier County need all the hope, faith and prayers they can get as the citizens, visitors and officials attempt to put their beloved community back together.
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