A fireman is your friend. His vehicle is one of the most easily recognized trucks on our streets. His presence keeps me safe. He is an instant protector of our family, our neighbors, our classmates and fellow workers, and even travelers passing through our town. My community is a better place because he and his fellow officers are there.
A fireman treats everyone with dignity, integrity, character, mercy, helpfulness, and compassion. He is a friend to all, but he is also the enemy of fire, harm, danger, and death. He is a comfort to all in their time of need, and his services are at times imperative to keeping us safe. He has the training and ability to use force when appropriate, including those times when he must use that force to protect his own or someone else’s life.
A fireman is one who potentially risks his life daily to serve the public. Many times his risks and sacrifices go unnoticed and unappreciated. He never knows for sure if he will return to his loving family at the end of his shift.
In a moment, his life may be in grave danger, but he endures this for us. He is usually an unsung hero. He may be of any color or ethnic background. A firefighter may be male or female, but each one serves us every day.
I must realize that if I call in a false alarm I put firefighters at risk and can cause them to lose the spirit of readiness for which they are well known.
I, therefore, honor those firefighters who serve my community and risk their lives and future for my sake. Thank you for your faithful service over the years. I honor you and your fallen comrades who have served our country and community well.
I wrote the article above in August when Tom, a friend of mine passed away. He had been a fire chief and seventy-five firefighters attended his funeral at our church. They filled the church parking lot with twenty-five fire trucks.
My third daughter, Charis, taught for three years in a Christian school in Plymouth, IN. The fire company in that small town was once known as the “Wide-Awake Hose Company.” I never heard of a fire hall by that name. I think it is a great name for a group of firemen. In Pennsylvania and Colorado, I have visited fire halls with the name “Vigilant Fire Co.” I often tell a story in drama or with puppets about Georgetown, CO. I tell folks that Georgetown still has an historic district because they had at least five fire companies in their small town at the same time. One of them is the “Vigilant Hose Co.,” and another has a tower that would remind one of a lighthouse tower. Fireman kept a vigil in Georgetown. One man would be stationed up at the top of the tower to watch for flames and smoke. Firemen all across town would be able to hear if someone ran into the streets to yell, “Fire!” God tells us as Christians to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
God also wants us to be ever watching for souls. Jude tells us, “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire..”
The “Wide-Awake Hose Co.” is a great name for a fire company because firefighters are to watch for souls and rescue the perishing at any time day or night. They must be vigilant and be awake to help their fellow man. Heb. 13:20 speaks of pastors when it says, “…for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account…” God wants every Christian to watch for lost souls that they might be saved.
Pastors are not the only ones who should be vigilant about souls that need Christ. God has commissioned every believer to be a witness for Him to tell sinners how to be saved. Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
It is not just the pastor’s job to win the lost in our community. We should be looking about for sinners who need to receive Christ as their Savior. We should pray for them. We should seek opportunities to tell them they need to be saved. We must be the “Wide-Awake Watchers of those who need to be Rescued.” We, too, will give an account to God for our witness and testimony to the unsaved.
Will God find us watching for souls to be saved in our community and beyond?