Monday, March 19, 2007

I Saw God’s Handprint on My Backyard Fence

I knew that title would get your attention. Don’t worry I haven’t turned into one of those weirdoes who thinks she saw an image of Jesus’ face in an old log or on the back of her English muffin. I doubt anyone will take a pilgrimage to my home hoping for a miracle. But we did have our own personal family miracle and my father-in-law has pictures to prove it.

On Saturday afternoon a small brush fire made its way to one of the homes on our block. Less than thirty minutes later firemen evacuated the entire neighborhood, including us. Later that night we returned to a dark house with no backyard fence. All of the trees and bushes lining that fence were burnt as well. Apparently the fire hit the fence line and just made its way down.

Here’s the miracle: the fence is inches away from our storage shed, which contains our gas-powered lawn mower, propane barbecue, and a camping stove that also runs on propane. Basically, our shed could double as a bomb if anyone struck a match inside of it. The small section of fence behind the shed is the only part left standing. The boards are blackened on the back and two are leaning toward the shed. It’s as if God sent an angel to stand in that spot, holding the fire back.

Even as we waited for power, cable, phone, and Internet service (the last two just came on this afternoon) I praised God for sparing us from far worse. One house up the street is completely gone, several others are badly damaged. I count myself blessed to be among those who lost a fence, a few small trees, and some rose bushes.

This experience made me think of the many times that God has spared me from unimaginable harm. Will He show me someday, all of those near-misses? I also took this moment of protection as His creative way of saying, “I care about you and your family. If I can hold back a fire, I can provide for your needs.”

I pray that I’ll remember that whenever I look at that charred remaining section of fence—the one with God’s handprint on it.

How has He blessed you recently?



Jenny B. Jones said...

Wow, what a praise! So glad you guys were spared from damage worse than the loss of your fence. Glad you guys are okay.

Steph said...

Wow what an awesome blessing!
I'm 16 years old and learning to drive, and i can't count all the times that i've either not seen things, not been paying enough attention, etc. and God has protected us from getting seriously hurt. Sometimes after I'm just amazed at His love because we all make such serious mistakes sometimes but rarely get hurt.