Emergencies, Part 2
Yes, again we are on the topic of emergencies! But it’s not quite such a tale of woe this time.
Today I met with Ed Michal to talk about the town’s Emergency Management plan. He and Ron gave me a tour of the fire station. I was stunned to find that an old fire truck from 1937 still resides in the firehouse…and it still works!
Besides the interesting discoveries about the town’s emergency preparedness, the tour also brought back some nostalgic childhood memories. My parents were volunteer firefighters and EMTs in our little town when I was growing up. It seemed our whole lives revolved around that scanner. Often, it would beep out its shrill news of disaster in the middle of dinner. Our parents would rush out the door without a word. We knew the routine.
I have to admit that often I resented that scanner and the power it had over our lives.
Years ago, when my mom was teaching me to drive, we suddenly saw the ambulance come up behind us, siren blaring. “Pull over!” my mother commanded, excitement in her voice.
And then, without a word, she jumped out.
“Mom. I don’t know how to drive.”
“Just go slow. You’ll be fine,” she said shortly. And with that, she was gone, waving at me from the back of the ambulance.
I drove home with my hazards turned on, barely exceeding 15 miles an hour the whole way, clenching the steering wheel in terror. Fortunately, we lived in the country, so there wasn’t much traffic to worry about.
As much as I resented these abrupt disappearances from my parents, I was also really proud of them. They were the people who showed up when someone was at their absolute worst. When they were in danger of losing everything. My parents were there, never complaining, just happy to help. You might even say they took it as an honor. And I deeply admired them for that.
I believe that my parents’ example was part of the reason I’ve always been drawn to vocations that were about helping people, about being there for them at their worst. Because I saw how much it meant to my parents, and how much they loved it.
In life, there are many things competing for our attention. Our most pressing need will always be to attend to our family, our loved ones.
But sometimes, God’s scanner rings out, calling us to drop everything and go where we are needed.
In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus said, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields-along with persecutions-and in the age to come eternal life.”
No, we shouldn’t make a practice of abandoning our loved ones when they need us. After all, we can’t help others with integrity if those nearest and dearest to us have unmet needs.
But there are moments in God’s big picture when we should drop everything just for a few hours to bring His love to a soul that desperately needs it.
Where is He calling you?
I’d love to hear about it.
In God’s service with you,