I grew up on an acreage two miles outside of a small town in rural northwest Iowa. There was an old barn on the property that hadn’t been used in years. The building was so old it was starting to fall apart and was dangerous to go in. My dad decided it was time to just tear it down. We bashed in the sides of the building as best as we could and then early one morning, we set it on fire. Our house was close enough to the highway that people driving by could see there was a big fire. Our house was far enough away from the highway that people driving by couldn’t see that it was just an old barn being burned up and that we were standing right by it. Some passers-by stopped at the local Casey’s and called the fire department thinking it was a house on fire. The combination of overzealous volunteer firefighters and the scarcity of fires around our little town created a great deal of enthusiasm for the few actual fire calls they received. We could hear the sirens blaring as every single piece of fire equipment that the town owned barreled down the dusty gravel road toward our house. My dad wasn’t particularly excited about all the attention especially when living in a small town means everyone knows everyone.
In our case, it was a false alarm. However, it was nice to see that someone driving by cared enough to call in what they thought was a true emergency. It was also nice to see a group of people willing to drop everything and put themselves at risk by jumping in a fire truck and rushing off to save someone else.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. “
There were people driving close enough to our farm to see that there was a fire and they cared enough not to just ignore it, but to call 911. Do you have friends driving close enough to you who would see a fire in your life? Would those friends be willing to take action to try to put out the fire?
It’s easy to have friends who are close enough to do fun things with, but still distant enough to not see a potential fire in your life. Having friends this close means being open and transparent, which isn’t always comfortable. If you are fortunate enough to have such a friend and if they come asking questions about a potential fire in your life, consider yourself blessed and thank them.