A Firefighter's Plea

Dear Lord, I'm in a battle and the flames keep growing higher;
please keep your angels 'round me as I help put out this fire.
The smoke is thick and black as it bursts out of the roof
and the heat is so oppressive, I can feel it through this suit.

I've been ordered to retreat now but I've heard a feeble cry
Oh, Lord, please give me courage or someone else will surely die.
All the training that I have received and the preparation learned
are all useless without You, Lord, to keep us from being burned.

The light on my helmet barely penetrates the compelling gloom
and I know that it is You, Lord, leading me into this room,
for huddled in the corner, a child and parent lay,
barely conscious, neither moving, as life quickly ebbs away.

Taking off my oxygen mask, I give each of them some air,
then lifting one and dragging one, I felt Your presence there!
My burden was made lighter, as You guided me through roaring flame,
and though danger was around me, I kept trusting in Your name.

As I whispered, Jesus, save us, I felt Someone at my side
and at that very moment, the child revived and cried.
As we stumbled out the front door, the crowd burst into cheer,
and they called me a "hero," but didn't see You standing near.

I've only done my part, Lord, and You supplied the grace
that helped us emerge victorious from that awful blaze.
Sitting on the cold wet ground, I bowed my head in prayer,
humbly thanking You, my Lord, for always being there.

Thank you for being my eyes, when smoke didn't let me see,
and thanks for holding up that beam that almost fell on me.
I thank you, Lord, for safety and I'll let the others know
it was You who rescued them from that blazing inferno.

But most of all I thank You for being my faithful Guide,
and leading me through danger, always right there at my side.
There were those who didn't make it Lord, and I'm wounded by grief,
but nothing Lord, can ever shake me from my firm belief.

For I believe You knew Lord, who'd emerge and who would die
even before the first flames sent a smoke signal to the sky.
And I'm assured You took to heaven the souls of all who did believe,
and that right now You're sending comfort to those who bitterly grieve.

Dear Lord, I'm in a battle though the flames are reduced to ash,
as I look for my fallen comrades, and review horrors of the past.
Though the people call me hero, the real heroes died that day
as they ignored the fear inside them, and forged forward anyway.

May Your tender hand of mercy reconcile us to the task
and may Your love keep us going until the rubble's cleared at last.
We know, the next time the siren sounds, it may be a forest blaze
or a car wrecked on a hillside in the early morning haze.

So grant me clear thinking then, Lord, and I will with valor stand
while You keep me safely protected in the hollow of Your hand.

Amen

Copyright ©1996 Dorothea K. Barwick,
revised 9-12-2001