My church got hit hard with shock and grief. Yesterday morning, while she was at the church just a block away from her home cooking for others, one of the gracious servants of the church lost her home to a fire. Her 85-year-old mother was inside the home and was rescued by a young man who just happened to be stopped on her street because his girlfriend's car got stuck in the snow. This young hero opted to go inside a burning home and risk his life to pull her to safety. I couldn't help thinking about other people who may have pulled out their cell phones to videotape the fire instead.
The fire company had trouble getting to the house, as did the police, because the roads were suddenly bad. As it turned out, six police officers carried the woman to McKnight Road, where they flagged down a passing ambulance who just happened to be driving by. The elderly woman is now in ICU at a local hospital.
In the meantime, the house is gone and these two women no longer have a home. The younger one, who is my granddaughter's teacher in children's church and has one of the kindest faces I know, is not handling this well at all.
Then, last evening, a 32-year-old young man from our church died suddenly. He couldn't breathe and went to the ER, but the doctors couldn't save him.
My heart hurts.
Yesterday, my Mary Engelbreit Page-A-Day calendar had this saying:
It may be unfair,
but what happens in a few days,
sometimes even a single day,
can change the course of a whole lifetime.
Indeed. Within a moment, our lives can change forever. For these families, for our church family, for the kids this young man mentored, for those in our community... our lives are forever changed. Nothing will ever be the same.
That's how it happens, folks. Just like that we can lose our homes, our jobs, our spouses, and even our children.
Hug them tight tonight. Tell them you love them. Don't ever stop telling them you love them.