Do you smell smoke?
A few months ago there was a fire safety day at Ian’s school. When I walked in the door, as I got home from work that day, Ian was excited to show me his safety gear. Apparently, the fire department is recruiting because the kid had everything except the water hose. He had the badge, hat, and even a small paper replica fire truck. I was impressed. Ian had already told half of the world he wants to be a firefighter, so this was the icing on the cake.
To keep the theme going, my wife Deniqua, had picked him out a book about firefighters from the library. Ian was excited. Every night we read him a story before bed. The last few nights the stories were a little dry. Not tonight. Boy, this book had me on the edge of my seat. It was a early elementary book, so all of the words rhymed.
It chronicled the life of a firefighter. Near the conclusion of the book a fire breaks out. His crew is the first to arrive to the scene. Outside there are onlookers, reporters, emergency crews and people who look really concerned. The firefighter is scared at first to act, but people’s lives are at risk. He sees the people in need and he goes right into action. By his decision of pushing through his fear he was able to save the lives of many. Good story.
Now here comes my two cents. There are people in our lives who are trapped in burning buildings. They feel hopeless, helpless, and think nobody cares about them. They continue to make mistakes over and over again trying to get our attention. We have got to learn to pay attention to people who wear their burdens on their sleeves like they are name brands. “I like that shirt. Who is that?” Depressed, by Calvin Klein.
It is time to start putting out fires. For too long in my life I have been the person standing on the sidewalk screaming someone should help them. I thought I was okay, because I wasn’t the person holding the gasoline can in my hand. If you are not helping, you are hurting them.
What sense does it make to stand around and watch another person be burned alive?
I don’t know what the fire may represent in your life, but it can be anything. Talking negatively about the person struggling, feeling sorry for them but not helping, gossip, ridicule, and jealousy only make the fire hotter for the person trapped. I dare you to put down the gas can and pick up a hose.
Do you even own an extinguisher?