At 1:30am, the smoke alarm pierces the still night air, and I shoot up like a rocket.
When your nearby mountains and town have been battling wildfires, the screeching beeps send your heart beat into the stratosphere.
Our house is safely away from the fires, but the smoke snakes its way over here most days, and that is what triggered the alarm. We all know this, but it doesn’t stop us from checking every room and closet. It takes time for our hearts to quit pumping fast and furious.
As of this morning, the Waldo Canyon fire is 70% contained. Tragically, two people died and 346 homes perished after the flames came flying down the mountain into Colorado Springs Tuesday night. But tucked inside this bad news is the good news that thanks to efforts of firefighters and homeowners alike, over 80% of the homes in this same neighborhood were saved. How?
Often, it came down to triage. At times, firefighters identified homes where owners had done fire mitigation work — clearing debris from their houses and off porches and pine needles from property. In the moments before the flames arrived, firefighters did that work for the residents — going so far as to push grills onto sidewalks and throw lawn chairs off decks. But many of those [homes] without such fire preparation work were burning. Firefighters were able to save some homes where mitigation work hadn’t been done. The Colorado Springs Gazette
The prepared homeowners and firefighters stripped debris away from houses – and anything else that might catch flying embers – and those houses weren’t as susceptible to burn.
And so I think about how the same may be true of my heart? Clutter surrounds it, things that threaten its health. But when I talk to God, I strip the debris surrounding my heart. He cuts to the chase, opening my eyes to what needs tossed aside and what needs saving. Sometimes, tossing the inconsequential saves the essential.
May we all remember this as we pray for wisdom to lean into His leading. And may we find the flames of our own faith spreading through a heart safe and protected in Him.