The sirens could be heard blocks away. I waited on my driveway, wondering if my cat, who had quickly slipped past me as I stepped outside just moments before, had found a safe spot away from the smoke.
The sirens grew louder, and soon two fire engines turned into my narrow street of this small, townhouse condominium complex where I live.
Oh boy. The neighbours are going to start to panic, I thought to myself.
The fire engines stopped in front of my home, and out tumbled two, then four more men, strapping up yellow cover alls, and pulling on helmets. A few had gas masks dangling around their necks. Two were hauling out a fire hose.
A fire hose.
I turned away, to see the second fire truck, another six men strapping on their gear.
Oh my gosh.
I covered my face with my hand. Well, this is a bit embarrassing.
It’s just some smoke in my basement I wanted to yell. No need to gear up so much!
But they kept on, and it was obvious they were prepared. Prepared for any fire that might happen. At that moment, no fire hose was needed. Yet, they still prepared, pulling the hose along my driveway until it’s nuzzle just rested outside my front door.
And then three went inside. And it reminded me of a line in the movie “Fireproof.” You never leave your partner.
Only one had stopped to talk to me. The fire chief for that unit. I let him know where the smoke was, (in my basement) and how, after searching and searching, I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. So I’d called them.
And they came. And they geared up. And got ready for a roaring fire, even though there was just a bit of smoke.
And I wondered, how ready am I? Am I prepared, always ready with my suit of armour?
Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Do I skip the helmet thinking it’s all just some smoke that will eventually go away, and I’ll be fine without it?
But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8
Is my hose ready, and water tank full, so I can extinguish any flames that threaten me?
…in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-20
My daughter, cheeks red from heat, steps beside me. What’s happening? she asks.
There was smoke in the basement, I tell her. And couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. But the fire chief thinks it might be the washing machine belt. He’s seen that before I guess, I explain.
There’s a bit of panic I notice, in her eyes. It will be fine, I’m sure, I assure her. They-gesturing to the young men (good-looking I must say) around her age, hovering in coveralls that grace their hips now-have it under control. No flames.
Her eyes open wider. NO, she laments to me. Why didn’t you warn me they were coming? My room is a mess!
Well darling, I say to her apple red cheeks, guess that goes to prove that you should always be ready with a clean room as you never know when you might have a fireman needing to go into your bedroom.
You never know when…but you can always be prepared. Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 6:13