Saturday evening around 10 p.m. as I was wrapping up my kitchen cleanup for the day and thinking about going to bed, I realized there was a large truck rumbling outside our house. When I stopped and thought about it, I realized that the rumbling had been going on in the background of my mind for a little while. I guess I’m used to city noise, but seriously, this was rattling our windows. As I walked to the window to peer out the blinds I wondered WHY a large truck would be sitting in the street at 10 p.m. I pulled back the blinds and was greeted with the flashing lights of not one, but FOUR firetrucks lining our street. I noticed the house across the street was dark and a crowd gathered around. I hollered to The Narrator, “I think the neighbor’s house is on fire!” before slipping on my shoes and joining the crowd.
I gleaned from the crowd that there had been a kitchen fire and everyone was ok. The fire department was wrapping up their duties and I hung around to see if the neighbors needed a place to stay and to get the full story.
After the trucks left and the crowd dispersed, I approached the open door and hollered. They invited me in and I saw a very charred stove and microwave. The damage was not as bad as it could have been because they were prepared and quick on their feet. She emptied a fire extinguisher on the fire while he grabbed the hose and drug it inside. By the time the fire department arrived they had put out the fire and the department just had to check the house to make sure there wasn’t fire in the walls or ceiling and give it a final spray down.
After being assured they didn’t need a place to stay, I marched back across the street realizing how unprepared we are for a fire. I can’t remember the last time I checked the batteries in the smoke detectors, and if we have an extinguisher I don’t know where it is. Then my thoughts turned to what I would have done if it had been me. Most of the time when I’m cooking, I’m home alone with the kids. Being a house wife is a very dangerous job!
Floridians know all too well how important it is to be prepared for disasters. Every fall we are given a list of supplies to buy for a hurricane emergency kit and even a sales tax-free week to do so. But still, most people (including me) don’t really prepare. Why is it that we do that? It’s not difficult to own an extinguisher or put together a box of bottled water and non-perishables just in case. It just takes a little time and some thought. Maybe it’s because we think it will never happen to us.
But if there’s one thing that’s sure in life -it’s that disaster will eventually hit. Whether it’s a fire or a hurricane, a sick parent or child, depression, financial woes – some kind of disaster is sure. How prepared are you? Beyond the physical basics – how does your community look? When you’re hit, are there people to love on you, pick you up, and carry you for awhile if you need? Is your life infused with truth so that when you’re knocked down and your brain is barraged with lies from the enemy the small still voice of Truth is there? It takes time and thought, but we can’t think that it will never happen to us. Get to know your neighbors, find a small group at church, stay in touch with old friends who speak truth into your life, spend time every day meditating on and memorizing Scripture – even if it’s just short phrases, and keep an arsenal of positive music in the cd player (A favorite of mine right now is Chris Rice’s “Peace Like a River: The Hymns Project.”) Not only will you be prepared, but you’ll also be armed and ready to help those around you when the need arises.
I don’t want to be caught unprepared this year!