6-Alarm Fire!

Written by on June 8, 2015

Fire Engine Photo #4

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:2, NRSV).

On my way home Friday evening, I rounded the corner to the block that flanked my home. I was surprised to find six fire engines, lights flashing,  cordoned off with a yellow strip, “Police line. Do not cross.”

Fire Engine Photo #1

“What’s going on?” I asked the policeman guarding the scene of action.

“There’s a fire.”

I saw and smelled smoke and tiny white pieces of charred debris in the air. Three firefighters on the roof of the blackened home took a chain saw to the remnants of the gutted skeleton of the rafters.

But not all the firemen were actively working on the house. Some were parked a block away.

My friend Mike, an expert firefighter, was usually the first to arrive at the scene of a burning building. As supervisor, he calmly evaluated safety conditions and determined what personnel and equipment to put into motion as the fire progressed. He often had back-up crews waiting a block away. Though eager to jump in, they had to await a radio call for assistance.

Fire Engine Photo #2

Sometimes when we sense a friend has a need, we rush in with answers. We figure we can fix the problem with a word of advice or offer a course of action, even when the friend is making unhealthy choices. We rescue them on our own terms.

But sometimes our Divine Chief asks us to wait nearby while he connects with our friend. That gives them an opportunity to understand His precepts in a new light or to reinforce a new level of trust in him.  Even when there’s a 6-alarm fire. Especially when there’s a 6-alarm fire.


Fire Engine Photo #3

We need to ask:

  • Lord, what are You up to?
  • In what capacity do You want me to help my friend?
  • What does Your timing look like in this situation?”

Papa, show us how to follow Your lead as you fight fires in our friends’ lives.



Fire Engine Photo #5

Friend, what do you do in the wait?

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  1. Charles   On   June 9, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Wow! Good word. Reminds me of the first response from Job’s three friends. “So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (Job 2:13).

    • Lynn Hare   On   June 15, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Charles, yes, how marvelous that they stayed back so Job could commune with God in that moment. A holy moment.

  2. Susan   On   June 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Yes, it is hard to watch someone suffer. Yes my reflex can be to jump in and help the person. Yet seeking the Lord on how to respond may yield an entirely different direction. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.”

    • Lynn Hare   On   June 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Susan, I love that verse. Watching a friend suffer is so difficult. Somehow in the moment, the path still seems crooked, though. Surrendering is not always easy when it’s someone you’re close to.

  3. Nancey   On   June 10, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Yes, we do want to rescue people on our own terms. Loving them while waiting for God’s guidance can be hard. Prayer for the correct words and timing is the best preparations.

  4. Lindy Swanson   On   July 27, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Respond prayerfully and appropriately to the immediate threat and alert others, in the wings, to assist as God calls them to. See my email to you, ASAP, fellow fireman. We have a fire to hose. : )

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