House Fire? No Problem!

“Can you tell me a story?” asks four-year-old Tommy. And once again, he chooses the story about the fire at Great-grandma’s. (Please see “Arson at the Nursing Home,” July 24, 2009)

Tommy thrills to the account of the neighbors pouring out of their warm, comfortable beds in the middle of the night to evacuate the nursing home residents. “Maybe Mr. Murphy said to Mrs. Murphy, ‘I’m warm and comfortable here, but I’m NOT going to stay in bed. Those old people need help.’ ” I say. “Then Mr. Murphy grabbed a blanket and Mrs. Murphy grabbed a coat and they didn’t walk—they RAN to help the old people.”

“If you’re still living in town and there’s a fire, I’ll come and get you out,” Tommy promises.

That reminds me of my pre-kindergarten days, when I lived beside my little friend Bill. There were two big kids on our block that used to torment me. One day as we saw the bullies walking by, I got riled. Really riled! “I’m going to push the house on you!” I threatened. Blissfully unaware of their impending doom, Timmy and Linda  laughed while Bill and I tried to topple the house. I’ll never forget how hard I tried, and how that house didn’t even budge!

As Tommy’s childhood invincibility gives way to reality, I pray that he will remain a hero and a helper. Our world needs more of both.

“David picked up his shepherd’s stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath. . . . When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him.  He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. . . . David had killed Goliath, the battle was over . . . .”

I Samuel 17 and 18 (Contemporary English Version)

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