Self-described playwright, novelist and actor Gideon Hodge told why he did not hesitate before running in: "Despite my better sense, I just ran inside and grabbed it. I didn't think to be scared. Anybody that's ever created art, there's no replacing that. It's got pretty much my life's work."
Fortunately, his computer was intact, apparently having been sheltered by a table from water being used to douse the fire. Both author and accouterments emerged unscathed.
Alas, the same could not be said of his home. It took 67 firefighters more than two hours to subdue the three-alarm blaze, which had spread to the Broadmoor neighborhood house where Hodge lived from an empty, single-family house next door.
Ultimately, Mr. Hodge's home, along with his family's belongings, was completely destroyed. Thankfully, his friends responded by setting up a GoFundMe page, raising several thousand dollars in less than 24 hours.
With his rescued computer, Mr. Hodge posted a message of gratitude on Facebook, stating: "I thank you all for the outpouring of love that came forth during all of this... You have been more help than I could have imagined."
For my part, I feel for this man and his family. I have known people who have lost everything in house fires and had to start over. It is never easy. Nonetheless, things, as we all know, can be replaced. I am thankful his family survived unharmed - as I am the results of all his hard work in having created two complete novels.
As I have reflected on this story, I have asked myself the inevitable question: “What, of all the things in my home, would I value more than anything else? Faced with such a decision, what would I rush into a burning home to retrieve?”
While I would never wish such a fate on anyone, including myself, I am suggesting that it is a good exercise in ascertaining what truly holds value. For most assuredly, whatever you and/or I would choose to retrieve would be that which we saw as more important than anything else.
My short list may not be the same as yours. Neither would either of ours be likely to match that of the next person’s. But each list would reflect everyone’s respective heart.
What is more, my suspicion is that, after having drawn up an initial list, and then after having taken a little time to reflect upon its contents, I might be inclined to make some changes. For I may well not like what my list of items to be retrieved had to say about what all I value. But that, of course, is the point of the whole exercise.
In his second New Testament Letter (chapter 3, verses 10-14), the Apostle Peter reminds us that everything in this world is passing away. In fact, he tells us, as my wife is fond of saying about the things of this world, that “it’s all gonna burn”. Peter states:
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Peter’s point is well taken. That which we should value above all else is that which will transcend this world (and its inevitable destruction) and survive into the next: acts of “righteousness”.
And surely this is the very “treasure” about which Jesus Himself spoke in his famous “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew’s New Testament Gospel (chapter 6, verses 19-21):
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
So, my friend, “what’s on your list?” What do you truly value? And what proof of this do you display?
STORY SOURCE: FoxNews.com, Published September 16, 2016.
Cf.: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/16/real-life-plot-twist-novelist-runs-into-fiery-home-to-save-laptop.html. Fox News states that the Associated Press contributed to this report.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/.