Our neighbor is a nice college kid from Washington. When the weather turned cold he borrowed some wood to start a fire and soon after went out to cut wood for the first time with a friend. As he is a clean cut athlete we joking refer to him as ‘Junior.’
Just like I had some faux pas when I started making fires to keep my house warm, he had one tonight.
We had just got the kids down to bed when there was a frantic knock on the door. I cracked the door to see Junior’s anxious face, “Can you help me? My fire’s gone crazy.” Crazy?! I didn’t know what that meant, but I promised his mom and dad that I would be there for him should he need. “I’ll be right there,” I muttered. Throwing on my tennies and a t-shirt I told Stacy, “Be right back, something’s going on with Junior’s fire.”
As I got to his door he tells me, “I put a peice of wood in that was too long and it is burning and filling my house with smoke.” Now who hasn’t done this? That 1/2 inch or so can keep the door from closing and let some smoke in the house. Oh NO!! Not Junior’s wood. I enter to see 3 to 4 inches stickin out and black smoke pouring out. “Be right back!” I shout. Hopping the fence and into my mud room I grab the long welding gloves. Nomex lined and double thick I knew they would work. Running back I told him, “Stomp out any embers that fall behind me.” I grabbed the log and ran out the front door to toss it on the lawn. As we splashed out the log, Junior and I laughed at it. The poor guy was obviously embarrassed. So I told him about the time I set the field on fire behind the house. No, I won’t tell you. See if Stacy will recount that event…
Hey, stuff happens. It’s a good thing he has neighbors. Jesus said, “Love your neighbors as yourself.”
May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.