Sometimes I wonder why I do what I do.
My job is to prevent fires, to protect lives and property, and to figure out why fires happened so they can be prevented in the future.
October (as many of you know if you have kids sporting shiny new plastic fire helmets) is Fire Prevention Month, and quite frankly it's kicking my butt a little. I love talking to kids and grown-ups, especially about fire safety....but when the 13 hour days start to stack up and the event requests keep coming I often wonder what coloring books and shiny new plastic helmets have to do with the glory of God.
I hear stories of others who are feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, freeing captives, and sheltering the homeless and suddenly my color changing pencils and nifty powerpoints don't seem so meaningful. Sure fire safety is an important message but I tend to ask God, "Are you sure you have me where you want me? Isn't there anything bigger I could be doing?"
This weekend I was blessed to be part of the honor guard at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. I stood as one of many, a sea of blue to welcome surviving family members of firefighters who have died on the line of duty this past year. Shoulder to shoulder we stood telling wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, children and grandchildren that they were not alone and that their sacrifice was recognized.
The babies in strollers were what struck me most as I stood at attention, squinting in the sun. These children will grow-up knowing of but not knowing someone who had loved them because that someone's job had required the ultimate sacrifice.
As my heart broke for these families God spoke and this is when the pieces fell into place. These fatherless, these widows are why I do what I do. By teaching people to be safe around fire and teaching them how to keep fires from occuring I am saving lives and families of both those I teach and the firefighters who protect them. Every fire prevented is one time a firefighter does not have to put their life on the line.
And so, as I move through my week I know that in my weakness I rely on God's strength through the long days and by His grace I am able to give out coloring books and talk about smoke alarms to the glory of God. Because that is what He has put before me to do.
And I ask all of you to be a hero by saving a hero, please be smart about fire safety and install smoke alarms with working batteries and have a family escape plan.
Joining with Emily and others as we search God's grace and practice what He has taught us to do at Imperfect Prose