I encountered a fellow around noon and the poor dude just looked tired, hungry, and down on his luck. To his credit, he did not want a hand-out . . . he wanted work . . . honest work for fair pay. He said he had just come in from an outing on a shrimp boat. He did not get paid for his work and when he got home, his roommate had kicked him out and moved a woman in. He was told his belongings had been put in some people’s garage, but they would not be home until tomorrow night. The poor rascal was walking. I asked him, “When was the last time you had a decent meal?” He paused, thought about it, and replied, “Gosh, I can’t even remember.”
I told him to get in my suburban and we headed to the cafe.
As we drove along, my cell phone rang. I looked down and it was Linda Sweet. I answered and she exclaimed, “We just dodged a serious bullet!” I asked what she meant and she said, “Another apartment fire!” I inquired and she said that one of the residents caught her as she walked through the complex and said, “I am not certain if it is anything to be concerned about, but my neighbor’s smoke alarm has been screaming for a while. In fact, the tenant left just a bit ago and soon afterward the smoke alarm began sounding off.”
Linda went on to say that she called Homero and he came running, and when they entered the apartment, it was full of smoke. She reported that they found a hot pot of grease on the stove with the burner on underneath it . . . and the oven was on, too!”
What a miracle . . . certainly proof that the Lord watches over His people.
We visited briefly about how someone could actually leave such a mess, and do it accidently. I assured Linda that the resident would be issued a notice of lease violation and that she would be charged for the damages.
As we ended the conversation and I thanked my friend for being alert and quick to respond and investigate, she began to cry softly and choked up. I know that she was remembering the fatal fire of the early morning of December 10, 2013, in which our friend, Bill, and his dog, Buddy, perished.
That tragedy will trouble all of us for years to come.