When my phone rang, I hesitated to answer because the caller was unknown. I answered to an urgent voice. “Carol, there’s black smoke coming out of your house near you deck stairs.”
Thanking my next door neighbor’s sister, I hurried out the door. Standing on my deck, I couldn’t see anything to my right or my left. Returning indoors, I grabbed my cell phone and headed out the front door to seek the source of the smoke. Walking around the exterior on all sides of my house, I still didn’t see anything.
Calling Diane back, I asked, “Where exactly did you see the smoke?”
“Underneath the deck,” she replied.
Running around the side of the house again, I peered over my fence and saw black smoke pouring into the frigid air. Without hesitation, I dialed 911. My heart pounded as I raced back into the house, grabbed my dog, my car keys and my purse. Just as I pulled out of my garage and parked my car out of the way, the city police and fire chief pulled in, followed by a fire truck and an ambulance.
Seeking the source of the smoke, which was no longer visible, we discovered my dryer was vented underneath my deck, which is tall enough for me to stand under without ducking. I’ve lived in this house less than two years, but I’d never thought about the vent location. One of the firefighters touched the vent, which was cool.
Then, I realized in my haste to leave the house, I’d also opened my dryer door to stop the cycle. I told the firefighter, who asked me to turn it back on. Returning to my backyard, I could see steam emanating from the vent. Up close, it didn’t appear black. But, from a distance, the cold air created the illusion of a darker tint.
Later, several people wondered why I hadn’t grabbed anything else from the house when I fled. I recall thinking about three things: my Bible, my writings and my photographs. Yes, I would’ve been sad to lose them, but in the midst of chaos, I knew they weren’t important.
Author Randy Alcorn, once said, “Many Christians dread the thought of leaving this world. Why? Because so many have stored up their treasures on earth, not in heaven. Each day brings us closer to death. If your treasures are on earth that means each day brings you closer to losing your treasures.”
If we seek them, we can find spiritual lessons in everyday living. I’m grateful for neighbors who look out for me and for the quick response of those—firefighters, policemen and EMTs—who put their lives in danger for others on a daily basis. I’m grateful for false alarms and a God who loves me so much that He gave His only Son so we might have eternal life.
Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Where is your treasure?