Austin Fire Station #1
Saturday, April 27, 2019
From Mark 16
Jesus said to his disciples, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."
On Thursday we took the train downtown and walked with Miles about a block to Austin Fire Station #1. It was a beautiful day, and the firemen were cleaning their trucks. Miles wore his red helmet and fireman’s jacket, and carried his own ax. He was quite the man.
One of the firemen said, “Underneath we all look just like him.” Miles was shy at first, around those strong young men wearing Austin Fire t-shirts. But one of them, Wil, has two young boys of his own, and he took Miles around to all the trucks. When Wil put on his own firefighting suit, Miles loosened up. He pushed the button that turned on the lights. He touched the big ax that Wil used, and Wil touched his. He got up inside the truck and played with their computer.
Best of all, he sprayed water out of one hose on the truck, and the big handle was just like the one he has at home. He has to use both hands to handle it, but when he doesn’t aim it at himself (or us), the water sprays just like he was fighting off a fire.
The firemen respond to lots of calls that aren’t fires. They go out to every auto accident, and in downtown Austin, as in every city, there are calls each day for medical emergencies of homeless people. Those guys don’t just carry water; they carry hope. Seeing firemen coming to my rescue has lifted my spirits more than once.
On the train we sat across from a vice president of Metro-Rail talking to the internet about the people on the train today. He wants to get the Metro message out.
After leaving the fire station we sat waiting for our return train and talked awhile to a street comedian, who had a fighting cock resting on the right shoulder of his trenchcoat. The chicken was quiet; his keeper was friendly, admitting that all his humor was “fowl.”
“Go into all the world,” Jesus said. In just these few square miles of a Texas city, the world’s so rich. “Preach the gospel to every creature.” Get the good news out. In every way on every day, spread joy. Say “Yes! Thank you, Jesus.” Offer hope, learn to laugh, laugh with others. Pray without ceasing, even in the dark of night. When we’re here for each other, God is in our midst.
He puts out all our fires.
It was a fine morning on a beautiful day, Lord, and we felt happy and glad to be alive. It’s not always like this, and even this evening I’m tired and sore. Show me how to get a bit above all these experiences, Lord, just to be with you, to know your strength and find my own, to love and give and share and offer hope.