As you know, we have been in the midst of perhaps the most devastating series of fires in Southern California history. As a resident of the Pass area for almost 24 years I have become accustomed to the annual battle of the blazes that take such a toll on our beautiful landscape, numerous homes and other structures, the lives of victims and, sadly all too often, those whose job it is to protect us from the danger. So, I am a huge fan of firefighters. Their devotion to duty and willingness to put themselves between us and the fire is infinitely admirable and deeply appreciated.
During the fierce Santa Ana winds that were blowing last week though, we were not beset by fires in Beaumont, our problem was of a different kind—blowing dirt and dust. Since our church is in the process of building a new building we had the task of wetting down the dirt on the construction project to keep it from blowing on our neighbors. Thus, my new respect for firefighters.
I have never been known for my musculature. My abs have absconded; my pecs are pathetic; and my guns have no ammunition. So, when I found myself holding the nozzle of a 1.5 inch fire hose last week, thinking, “This will be easy and fun,” I was rather rudely awakened. I since have learned that the fire service designates the 1.5 inch as a one person line, i.e., there is no one else to help pull the line and manage it. Fortunately, I had help in the form of a strong young associate pastor. After only a few minutes my arms were beginning to feel like jelly. What saved me was the nozzle was adjustable and I could control the strength of the flow.
I mention that to say, when I see these firefighters, men and women alike, pointing their hoses at the fires now, I know from experience that what they make look so effortless is anything but that. God bless you firefighters! Thanks for your faithfulness! And thank you, God, for giving them the strength, physically and emotionally, to do their job.