By Doris Schroeder
The word fire has so many meanings, both good and bad. Many times in our life existence, we need to get fired up, in order to make things work. We need to get enthused about what we are doing in order to make it come to pass. My hubby often uses the adage “Let the sparks fly!” when he is doing something with all his might. Each of us have been given some “spark” by God in which He has planned to “ignite” others to accept Him into their lives and show by our example what it means to be dependent on Him…nothing else.
That is what happened to our “fair” city these past few weeks, especially the first weekend of March. John and I had driven home from our church in Medora, ate lunch out and settled down for our Sunday nap until our son John made his weekly call. We told him about the little fires in the Highlands area we had heard ahout that week end and then discussed the college basketball games coming up (as men are prone to do and of course, fires them up!)
On Monday, the 6th, we noticed we really had some fierce winds blowing and went on a couple errands, almost getting blown away. We noticed a lot of traffic going down our road so tuned into the Hutchinson radio station and found out the fires in the Highland division had really taken off again. We became glued to the news as we ate our supper and kept listening, still supposing it didn’t affect us. They did, however, mention 43rd St. and our ears began to perk up, especially when they mentioned the word “evacuate.”
We packed the essentials and put them in the car, ready to leave at a moment’s notice. We kept the front door open, kept the TV and radio on, and watched the north landscape from our vantage point. For awhile, we could even see the fire glow in the north where they were back burning . We had tried calling our daughter but her cell phone wasn’t working.
As we waited, we silently prayed as well as let our thoughts meander back over earlier days as one is prone to do in times of crisis. This was the second house we had had built during our sixty five years of marriage. We had done our own contracting, we remembered, and did some of the work ourselves, like painting and floor covering. I had even done a mural at one time but it was now painted over. I remembered the different events that had taken place during the 50 years of living in this house.
There had been times of worry, offset with periods of total happiness. It has been an era of discovery of God’s power and care during deaths in the family, each of our parents and my younger sister five months ago, and yes, even times when we wondered what to do. Through all these years, in this house, God has led us all the way, hut only as we were willing to follow.
This house is packed with memories of the years gone by…pictures galore. my office is crammed with past writing and John’s office with pictures of his fishing and gardening ribbons from the fair as well as my painted gourds. There are souvenirs from the many places we have visited around the world.
Would it have hurt if the house had burned down? Of course! Memories become very important in the latter years of life. One’s body has slowed down and the most enjoyable past time is to remember the “good ole days!” Even the pastor of Union Valley Church mentioned that in getting ready to evacuate. they had put all their pictures in a trunk because they held their fondest memories.
The patrol cars drove slowly by our house during the evening. We don’t really know what our neighbors did, although at first we saw them looking around outside their homes. It was two or three in the morning when we could no longer see any rosy glow in the north. Our street was quiet so we turned out the lights and went to bed, secure in the knowledge that since we had given it over to God, He would work it out the best way for us!
And of course that is how God worked it out. The next morning the sun came out as usual…this time. If our house had burned, He would have had a reason for it and a plan He would like us to follow, and it would have been to our good. God knows the whys and wherefores of life’s happenings.
And that is our prayer for the people of the ten homes that were lost. God knows and cares. Accept Him into your life and let him control the happenings. He knows and can control all things if we ask him. He will work it out the best way for you as He does for all who follow Him.
Doris appreciates your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org