Katie Grace, our stinking cute granddaughter, is spending a few days with Nahnee and Papa. Are we spoiling her? Well...yeah...duh! But I still have to do yard work. She gets to watch. Sometimes she helps.
One of my “honey-do” jobs has been to trim the dead blooms from the climbing rose bush on the arbor over our front sidewalk. So if you didn’t hurry...well, sorry. You missed your chance to smell our roses.
But yard work isn’t all we’ve done while K.G. has been here. We’ve also eaten at special places, like Barbaritos. Walking into Barbaritos, we saw four men wearing T-shirts that identified them as Bristol VA Firefighters. At a table near the front door, they were finishing their dinner and carrying on a quiet conversation.
We ordered and sat down with our food near the firefighters. We had just asked the blessing (K.G. says Nahnee and Papa always pray before they eat), when we heard the alarms go off on their phones and walkie talkies. Without hesitation, they headed for the door.
Katie Grace: “What just happened?”
Nahnee: “They got a call from the fire station, and they have to respond to an emergency. Even if they haven’t finished their dinner, they’ve gotta go.”
K.G.: “I think we need to pray for them.”
Papa: “Do you want me to pray?”
K.G.: “No. I’ll pray for them.”
...and she did. She thanked the Lord for those who protect us and prayed for their safety. Then she added those who have fought to preserve our freedom in America. The week of July Fourth - pretty thoughtful for a young lady who will turn 8 years old on Sept. 11.
After they headed for their vehicles, we continued our conversation.
K.G.: “You know what the most important job is - in the world? It’s being a firefighter or a police officer or an ambulance driver or a soldier, ‘cause they’re the ones that fought for us and risk their lives to keep us safe.”
When we think about K.G.’s example and her desire to pray for those who serve our communities and our nation, an alarm should sound in our spirit, alerting us to the importance of praying for those men and women who risk their lives daily for our safety and protection. Scripture tells us that “...a little child shall lead us.”
The Bible also repeatedly instructs us to respect those in authority. From kings all the way down the chain of command, we are to be submissive to those in positions of leadership. The Word further says, clearly, that we are to pray for those who occupy those positions.
A distinction could be made between those on the front lines and those in the throne room, but the Apostle Paul told his young protégé Timothy, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people...” - that’s everybody - Paul continued, “...and for kings and all who are in high positions, in order for us to have peace.”
Somewhere in there we need to insert, “...firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and soldiers...” Having just celebrated the birth of our nation, we need to pray for each other and especially our servants/leaders/heroes. When you hear a fire, ambulance or police siren - STOP - and offer a prayer of thanks and intercession for those in the that vehicle.
You may have missed the opportunity to stop and smell the roses in front of our house, but it is never too late to stop and spend a moment in prayer for our public servants.
Steve Playl, columnist, college instructor, retired pastor, and chaplain, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.