Gospel Emergency!

A few weeks ago I had a gospel emergency come to my direct attention. It literally came knocking at my front door in the form of my 16 year old neighbor Marcus. I had just finished exercising and stripped down to my basketball shorts and a t-shirt for a shower when I heard the door bell ringing. The timing was not good, so I almost didn’t answer it, but I decided to at least look through the peep hole. I noticed Marcus standing there and I must admit a little frustration at first. I thought that, as usual, he was wanting to visit one of my daughters and try to “talk some game” and I wasn’t in the mood for it, so I backed away and headed toward the showers. However, he kept at it persistently and way past the “I’m here to see one of your daughter’s” kind of door-ringing, so I relented and went to the door planning to tell him “No visitors at the moment!” But, lo and behold, as soon as I opened the door I saw more clearly that he was holding his left arm and that his left hand actually looked a little burnt and then he began yelling asking me to call 911 because his kitchen was on fire! The Holy Spirit sprung me into immediate helpful action and I called 911, followed the operators directions, and helped Marcus with his situation until all three firetrucks and an ambulance arrived. I am happy to say that Marcus got the kitchen fire out (not without some damage to himself or the kitchen, but the fire didn’t spread elsewhere, thankfully!) and the fire department handled their business and saved the day in record time!

I call this a Gospel emergency because I now understand how much it REALLY IS one! Because of the Good News of Who Jesus is as the Father’s Son made forever human I now understand WHO is behind the preservation of the entire humanity of all of humanity.Taking Jesus seriously, we are educated in the fact that it is not simply Marcus or me, or the 911 operator, or the fireman and ambulance drivers, or YOU, making that preservation stuff up on our own! Seeing that Jesus has dignified and bestows upon humanity and creation the highest nobility and favor by becoming and remaining human forever, and including us in His relationship with His Father in the Spirit, it only makes Gospel sense that we find ourselves wanting to do what He has done in Himself…preserve our humanity and see it saved! Plus, we get a HUGE hint of the heart of God the Father, Son and Spirit before the Incarnation when they plainly say that They “take no pleasure in anyone who dies” (Ezekiel 18:32).

Yes, through Jesus, see not only a statistic about the dangers of cooking in a kitchen but see the Inclusive, Life-saving God Who made and preserves us in such a way that a burning kitchen fire incites a young man’s entire body to be put at risk to put out the fire so that he and grandmother’s house is preserved and their relational space survives! And not only put out the fire, but run next door to a neighbor and ring a doorbell furiously, filling his lungs up with air, and moving his tongue to yell intensely at the neighbor, asking for help to find more help! And not only ask for more help, but compel the neighbors body to move and actually help, dialing a phone with his fingers, and placing such concern in his heart that he himself runs outside while submitting to the unknown operators voice commands, while also praying, watching out for more fire, and being like a father to the young man, Marcus! I mean actually feeling a heart of love for him – “the game talking” grief of my daughters father! 🙂

We are not only fearfully and wonderfully made, I am happy to report, in the Good News of Who Jesus is, that we are also fearfully and wonderfully, eternally preserved! (By the way, I am happy to report that Marcus had no major damage to his hand although the areas that were burned were 3rd degree burns and we, now, greet each other everyday with, dare I say, more Love? Too bad it sometimes takes fires, but thanks be to the Relational Triune God Who burns passionately and redeems things even in the middle of them!)

~ Timothy J. Brassell

4 comments so far

  1. Lance McKinnon on

    Wow! That will get your day going. Glad everyone was OK. And thanks for the insight. Our own experience with each other can often times tell us more about the Father’s heart than any well preached sermon. It’s interesting that in such emergencies our first instinct is to save and rescue. I’m sure the last thing you thought of doing was stand by the curb and tell your neighbors they need to do a better job with following fire codes. But how often from the pulpit (not yours I know) do we give our selves more credit than God by placing more emphasis on following fire codes and fire safety rules and regulations rather than the primary focus of Father, Son, Spirit of saving and rescuing. No matter how much our foolishness may have contributed to the fire the Father does not want to see anyone roast. He is going to run in and save us every single time. And has done just that in Jesus.

    Thanks Tim for sharing and keep the fire burning….well, you know what I mean. Love ya man!

  2. tjbrassell on

    Hey Lance! Yes, that will get a day going! Ha-Ha! Thank You for a clarifying response out of the Gospel! That will preach, so preach it when you get a chance – I know I’m going to! 🙂

    Love you, and the family too, man!

  3. Jeannine on

    What a sweet story! I love that feeling too – when my heart is flooded with love for someone I haven’t had a lot of time or love for in the past. I read a quote recently saying that you will end up loving almost anyone you authentically come to know. It’s so true – more than once, I’ve discovered someone I didn’t think I would get along with initially to be a “kindred spirit.” That kind of discovery is such a gift.

    Really like Lance’s comments above too.

  4. tjbrassell on

    Thanks for your comments Jeannine! In His grace we are learning by education and experience how true that quote you mentioned is, and what a gift – God the Trinity Mediating all of our relationships! Wow! 🙂

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