Early afternoon our Fire Chiefs training seminar released a little early to allow us to get a good start on heading home. I think almost every Chief in the state of Missouri ran down the hall to the elevators that would take us to freedom. As the doors open to the first floor I bolted along the side of two other firefighters into a beautifully marbled front foyer to this 5 story office building where we have spent the last 3 days studying fire science and how to be a Fire Chief. As we made our way to the front glass revolving doors we had to avoid hitting all the people standing around in conversation acting as obstacles standing in our way of the warm brilliant sunlight on this cool fall day in St. Louis. I know all us Chiefs had a glazed look in our eyes hiding the thoughts we had of getting home in time for supper. We made the front door sing as it went spinning almost off its hinges(or that thing that makes a revolving door revolve), we had dreams of cruising down the open highway, we pushed our way onto the sidewalk and began to rush across the street. As we continued, we inadvertently knocked over a flower cart. The others seemed oblivious until I stopped and turned around to go back.
From the other side of the street, my comrades called out to me, “Chief, come on, let’s get our trucks on the road for home.”
“Go ahead, have a great time and perhaps I will see you here next year again,” I yelled as I made my way back across the street to what looked like a complete disaster. What I saw was flowers of all types strewn over the sidewalk and curb and a young Spanish maiden kneeling in amongst the mess. No one was stopping to help but seemed like hundreds of people scurried by. As I approached this beautiful lady I noticed a long white cane laying beside her and that she was crying softly with tears running down her face. I couldn’t help but noticed that hers eyes were closed and somewhat deformed. I asked if she was alright and she nodded yes. I put together a cheaply built wood, flower display and stood it up on the sidewalk. I began picking up roses, putting the red ones together next to the pink ones, next to the white roses. I placed all the Baby Breath in a vase and scooped up as much of the potting soil as I could and filled pretty flower pots. I had no idea what some of the potted plants were but I put red ones with red ones and purple ones with purple ones.
I reached over and gently grabbed her arm and assisted her to her feet. I handed the white cane to her as I explained where all her flowers were on her display. I apologized for the inconvenience and reached for my wallet and gave her the last of my bills. I wasn’t going to need them anyway, I had a full fuel tank and I could wait 5 – 6 hours before I got home to eat supper with my wife and children. I said “here is some money for the flowers that are damaged and I hope it will help.” Still crying, she nodded, took my hand into hers and began to speak, “I want to thank you so much for helping me and I have one question for you…are you Jesus?” This questions jolted me as I began to back away, saying, “no, madam, I am not Jesus, I am just a Fire Chief trying to do my job.” She continued, “I wanted to ask because as my flower display began to fall onto the ground, I prayed for Jesus to help me set it up again.” My eyes teared and my heart jumped into my throat, my mouth became so dry I couldn’t speak.
I continued to back away to the other side of the street. I was no longer in a hurry to drive several hours to home. I found a bench across the street from this beautiful Spanish maiden selling flowers on a street corner. As I sat there, in between cars rushing by, I could hear her say, “Jesus stopped by to help me.”
Now, tears streaming down my face, I stayed for hours watching this lady sell her flowers and I had to ask myself, when was the last time you were confused for Jesus?
Jesus wants you to carry on his work. How much is the sheer busyness of your life preventing you from living the life God is calling you to live?
What are your thoughts?