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Working on tact. I remember hearing screams through my window one night around 2 am. I was 11. I pulled on my pants and jumped out my window. I followed the screams around the corner. It was a boy, a few years older, in front of his burning home. He was in a state i'd never witnessed before.
The house was smoking badly and I could feel the heat through the open front door. He said his father and sister were inside. He wanted to go in, but I knew he would die, so I stopped him. He agreed to wait for the fire dept. But when they got there they were so inept that it took them almost an hour to get the hose on and to suit a guy up with oxygen tanks, the house was blazing by then, and his father died because of it.
I failed, they failed. Luckily his sister had gotten out and was hiding in the back yard, but the kid hated me forever. I was angry about it for many years. How careless the firemen were. They seemed untrained at all. That's the kind of anger I have, Archie, the frustrated kind.
But now that house is the world and the inept firemen are the churches, and I know the smoke will burst into terrible flames soon….. but this time I'm running towards the smoke and I'm encouraging others, not stopping them.
I can't fail this time, Archie. This is my second chance. Shalom