Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.- Hebrews 11:1.
The world is crazy. There’s so much going on today. People are crazy. Ever heard someone make one of these statements or have you said one yourself? Not that I think the world is any more ‘crazy’ now or that people are ‘crazier’ than they were when I was growing up, I believe there is an influx of unexplainable behavior and incidences popping up all around. And you never know what your day is going to be filled with when you step outside and you certainly don’t know what will be going around you when you lay your head down at night. This was never more true for me (and us) this week.
True story- Someone set a car on fire in front of my house. Yup. A whole car. On fire. Like bright orange flames on fire…with a gas can right next to the car. In a residential area. On fire. Keep reading- there are pictures.
So here’s what happened. Tre went to bed around 8:30 like he normally does; telling Alexa to “play It’s Bedtime on Amazon Music.” He’s obsessed with this playlist. I followed shortly after because I am not a nightowl. The hubs- he gets his second wind after 11pm, so he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! At about 1am he wakes me up to tell me a car is on fire outside and I need to move. While I’m trying to process what he said to me, he wakes up Tre and I look outside. Right outside of our bedroom window, about 25′ from the house was a burgundy car on fire. I think my mouth fell open as a bunch of thoughts ran through my head very quickly. We just bought this house in September. Oh my God. My neighbor’s car is right there…our cars are close. What if the fire spreads quickly and gets to the gas tank? Oh my God. What was that popping noise. What’s the name of our insurance company again? Oh shoot- stuff is popping off the car. This is right in front of my house. The bushes can catch on fire. Oh my God. This kind of thing is happening in here, in this neighborhood?
Tre and I hurried to the other side of our ranch-style house, the hubs went outside and I calmly explained to him what was happening and we started to hear the fire trucks. Yes, I told Tre what was going on. I know someone is going to question why I did. Wouldn’t you want to know why you were jolted out of your sleep to go sit in the family room at 1am? By this time the fire department and police were on the scene and I was beginning to feel more calm. Yes, Tre was concerned. Yes, he was a little scared. How did I help him? I remained calm (and I didn’t share any of the panicked thoughts I had when I looked out and saw the flames) and I plugged him into the faith I had that everything was going to be ok and we would be back to sleep very soon.
I’ve shared our family’s belief system and how we are active in our faith and our church. This is important to Harold, Jr. and I as parents and we have passed it on to Tre and he established his own level of understanding at 7 y/o. Every night we anoint each other and pray with him before bed. We thank God for the day, ask for protection overnight and pray for others. In the morning he and I pray and he thanks God for waking him up that morning and for “watching us over while we slept.” We do these things over and over; day in and day out; on sunny days and rainy nights; on sick nights and rushed mornings; we do it. Why? It is important to us.
Back to the fire story- Tre and I were able to get back in the bed close to 2am and we all arose a few hours later to get our Thursday (June 6) started without any problems. As I drove him to school we said morning prayers and I stopped him. I pointed out the line of, “Thank you God for waking me up and for watching us over while we slept…” to point out that was never more real than it was a few hours ago. While Tre and I were deep in sleep, someone was doing something crazy right beyond our heads. Someone made a decision that could have severely injured many people and damaged a lot of expensive property. But God allowed us (me, Tre, the hubs and our neighbors) to be protected. Tre paused, thought about it and said, “You’re right.”
Beliefs, religion and spirituality take on a whole new meaning when you can see them in action and put them into practice. Faith is no different. If faith is believing in something you can’t see, touch, hear or smell, but the confidence that it will happen- then what happened to us early June 6 is our faith in action. Each one of us believed when laid down for the night that the only disturbance we would have would be the alarm clock blaring at 6:30am the next day. The hubs had a assurance that as he caught up on his shows and prepared for the next day we were safe and protected in our home. We had no idea what we were in store for. Making faith real and showing Tre what it looks like in real time is key. That is what is going to make God real for him. Want some suggestions for making faith and beliefs real for your kids- here are my suggestions (all tested out daily by our family!):
- Establish a foundation- Whatever you choose to believe in and however you guide your life- establish that in your household. Share it with your kids. Tell them why you believe those things and why your family is going to live according to those beliefs. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
- Be the example- Engage in your faith in front of and with your kids. Don’t make it taboo or a secret. I openly pray with Tre. Sometimes he wants to say the morning prayer on the way to school because he says I pray too long! We all worship together. Both the hubs and I listen to Gospel music a lot and will talk to him about the lyrics. Heck- I teach Children’s Church. What we believe in is not a secret, nor it is anything to be ashamed of and that is something I want Tre to fully understand. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… -Romans 1:16 (NIV)
- Talk about it- I try, as much as I can, to talk to Tre about real-life situations and examples of our beliefs in action. I want him to see what God’s healing feels like. I want him to know what God’s grace and mercy looks like. And what God’s protection can sound like. But if I don’t talk it about it with him he’ll never know. -So faith comes from hearing the Good News. And people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ. -Romans 10:17 (ICB)
After work Thursday I went outside to sweep up some of the burnt mess and move broken glass out of the way. While I was out there the gravity of what could have happened hit me. The car was engulfed in flames directly in front of a collection of shrubbery our lawn. Right next to the car was my neighbor’s white car. A few feet away both of our cars in the driveway. Aside from melted car parts in the asphalt and black soot, there was barely any damage to the bushes and we are left with some missing grass. To say that we are grateful is an understatement. We could have been spending our Thursday on the phone with the insurance company instead of going to work, etc and for that we are beyond grateful. The hubs thanked our neighbors behind us who alerted him to something being on fire (from the position of their house they couldn’t tell what it was). Thank you to Baltimore City Fire Department and Police Department for their quick response. And thank you Jesus that I can write to tell about it. –krystal