Fighting fire with fire

I was glued to the news coverage of the most recent atrocity in our country. It was hard to escape as it blared from the networks and I didn’t turn it off as though watching the interviews and video replays would provide an answer when there is no answer for evil.

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The winds are swirling outside our windows and the palm branches are bending to their howl. How fitting a storm would churn now. Driving in this morning the sky was dark but above the sun rays were streaming out as rays of hope. Isn’t that how it is? God sending hope in the midst of storms?

The Salvation Army Massachusetts division emergency canteen serving in Boston yesterday.
The Salvation Army Massachusetts division emergency canteen serving in Boston yesterday.

In the fiery blasts on that street in Boston people ran toward it. There are always people who run toward the blast, toward the fire, toward the dangerous unknown. They are the ones who have answered their calling. Their calling to help.

This morning I read these words in Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience:

“Feel their flame and feel their heat and the people of God face fires. 

That’s what we do. You fight fire with fire and the people who have fire in their bones are called to fight the fires of this world.”

A friend noticed a few years ago when our babies were all grown up and looking for their place, teachers, fire fighters, health care, social workers. She said they go into those professions because they want to help people. It’s what they’ve seen their parents do. And so it was. People of God face fires.

The fires we run to aren’t played out on the evening news but often spilling from the heart of one sitting in an office chair or who lingers behind after chapel service. It’s embers from abuse that have never died but are rekindled to flames raging to be put out, to be calmed.

It’s the fire of God’s Holy Spirit inside one that runs to combat the fire in another. But I confess my fire inside is often but a flicker. I hang back while others rush to offer aid, more content to be a bystander. I’ll wait. I’ll watch. I don’t know their kind of fire and lack the proper equipment. Those words haunt me even now as I know one who reached out and I’ve yet to answer. Feeling inadequate to manage their fire. Surely another is better equipped.

We sing the words:

“Send the fire, send the fire, send fire”

pleading for God’s Holy Spirit, like fire to burn inside us, burning away the chaff and keeping aflame the desire to follow His call. Even when His call leads us to another fire. The people of God face fires.

 

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

15 thoughts on “Fighting fire with fire

  1. Nancy G

    So well said Debby. Thank you for your heart of caring.
    Nancy G

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Thank YOU, Nancy. Your support is valued.

      Reply

  2. Katharine Trauger

    Corrie Ten Boom never felt ready, either, but when it was her turn, she found God had been readying her all along, and she burned brightly. Some are called to hourish and tend, too, and not to extinguish fires. I find that your warmth is just right, welcoming and encouraging. You also serve. As do those who feed the firefighters and tend the wounded in hospitals. <3 K

    Reply

    1. Debby

      What at awesome person Corrie TenBoom was and the legacy of faith she leaves is even more powerful. I just used a quote by her last week. God surrounds us with many caring in these times. It’s when we the potential we have as a community. Sad it often takes tragedy but through God’s grace, right?

      Reply

      1. Katharine Trauger

        Right. Tragedy is common, but the grace of God is amazing.

        Reply

  3. Katharine Trauger

    Corrie Ten Boom never felt ready, either, but when it was her turn, she found God had been readying her all along, and she burned brightly. Some are called to hourish and tend, too, and not to extinguish fires. I find that your warmth is just right, welcoming and encouraging. You also serve. As do those who feed the firefighters and tend the wounded in hospitals. <3 K

    Reply

    1. Debby

      What at awesome person Corrie TenBoom was and the legacy of faith she leaves is even more powerful. I just used a quote by her last week. God surrounds us with many caring in these times. It’s when we the potential we have as a community. Sad it often takes tragedy but through God’s grace, right?

      Reply

      1. Katharine Trauger

        Right. Tragedy is common, but the grace of God is amazing.

        Reply

    1. Debby

      You’ve got me at a loss, jaels. All I can say is thank you. To God be the glory!

      Reply

    1. Debby

      You’ve got me at a loss, jaels. All I can say is thank you. To God be the glory!

      Reply

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