• Today's Daily Devotion
A World Between
IT’S A STRANGE strip of territory. Our small town had several conflicted areas and this was the most pathetic. On one side of the street children played. Some of them ...

Reverend Wayne Detzler, PhD, Chaplain (Retired) – Charlotte, NC, Fire Department; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Regional Director

A WORLD BETWEEN

Life and death in the urban jungle

IT’S A STRANGE strip of territory. Our small town had several conflicted areas and this was the most pathetic. On one side of the street children played. Some of them were even the children of a young mother from our church. On the other side, drug deals went down in plain sight. Nothing seemed to stop the drug business, and we prayed daily for the safety of the dear little ones.

“Working fire” was the alert I received from our dispatcher. The address was familiar, right in the middle of the drug district. Quickly, I made my way to the scene. The flames had been knocked down by the time I arrived. I reported in to the incident commander, and he instructed me to proceed to the second floor of the burnt building.

“Over here,” a firefighter shouted. “Chaplain, come over here.” Laid out in the long hallway was a human form, a man. His face was ashen; it really looked like white ash. Out of his jeans came little tongues of fire. He’d obviously burned to death in the blaze.

“Hit it with the hose,” the officer instructed. A firefighter focused the whole stream on the dead body, instantly extinguishing the little flames. “Now, pray with us, Chaplain,” instructed the officer, asking me to kneel and pray.

Seeking words of hope, I paused briefly as I went to my knees. Then I prayed for the family of this man. His identity was not yet known, so we’d not been able to track down a next of kin. All I knew was that he died a terrible death in the midst of an out-of-control fire.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)

Then I prayed for the firefighters. I thanked the Lord they were there. I asked the Lord to wipe from their memories the scene before us. After we prayed, I waited with them for the medical examiner to come. As I waited, we thanked the Lord for his presence in this dark scene of death. We don’t know if the man knew the Lord, but we do know that if he did, he will live again with the Lord.

Calls like this bring to the forefront of our minds how quickly a person can leave this earth for eternity. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, he is the eternal hope we pray for and seek to share by our words and actions.

Prayer:

For this eternal hope even in the face of tragic death, I thank you, Lord of Life.


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