Yesterday I wrote about “7 Things You Don’t Know About Me” and I mentioned the time my house caught fire. I was young when it happened, but I remember it vividly. Childhood immaturity and a book of matches caused it. While I remember the details, I chose not to go into specifics but rather to share yesterday’s inspiration from the story of my doll, Lorraine, being saved.
I had been playing with her earlier that day. When we were called to supper, I had carefully placed her in a small storage area that ran above the stairs between my brother’s room and the room I shared with my 2 sisters. Sleeping bags were stored there and in my 7-year-old imagination it was a private bedroom for Lorraine. I had slid her into the middle of a rolled up sleeping bag and gone to eat. After the meal the events of the catastrophe unfolded. My mother safely got herself and her 4 children out of the house and to a next-door neighbor’s home. Dad was at night school. While my mother dealt with the horrors of the situation, I remember worrying and asking for my doll the whole time. My aunt arrived and we were taken to her house for the remainder of the night. The fire destroyed the entire second floor. When my parents were given the all clear, they set to the task of clean up and rebuilding. Days went by and I had given up to grief any hope of seeing Lorraine again. Then one day, my dad found her. Her face was darkened from the heat, her hair almost all gone and her clothes a bit singed, but she was intact. I was overjoyed. She had been spared an ill fate and was brought back to me.
As I look back on that chapter of my life, I think about how it can be compared to the way our Father in heaven feels about us. We sometimes find ourselves wrapped in His abundance and the comfort of the lives He has given us. Then the flames of tragedy and the smoke of hopelessness seem to surround us. We worry and despair over the things we have no control over. Then, just like Lorraine was brought back to me, we are brought back to Him, to once again bring Him pleasure and joy. He had always been there; we just weren’t with Him. We may be changed by our situations, but His love never changed. I still look upon my dear Lorraine with fondness, but today I see her as more than just a childhood friend. She is a reminder of how much God loves us and is always with us, scars and all.
Psalm 52:8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.