Our area has been under a serious burn ban since early July. August 1, I was working when I heard three soft, distinct knocks on our front door. This door is seldom used, and to my knowledge, no one has ever knocked on it (because you have to walk around the house to get to it)!
“Chris, did someone knock?” I called out, not sure I actually heard something. When she replied she had not heard anything, I looked out, but didn’t see anybody. Then, looking further, I saw the wind blowing billows of smoke across our front yard! My first thought was that someone had started a fire, got scared and run up to the house, knocked on the door, then run away.
The smoke was so close! I hurried down the bank to investigate and found a depression (from a rotted tree stump) with smoke billowing up through the grass and past me into our yard!
Thankfully, I did not see any flames yet. But that didn’t matter…something was burning and we needed to put it out! We ran to get our hoses and hurriedly pulled them down the bank to douse the fire. It went out quickly, but we called the fire department to have it checked, just in case.
As they inspected the location of the fire, a fireman noticed a tree branch still smoldering in the air, tangled in the power lines just above us. Evidently electricity in the power lines was grounded by a tree which caught fire and burnt off the top leaving a branch still smoking in the wires! Embers had fallen into the hole and started burning in the deep grass causing a lot of smoke. If fire had been allowed to break out and get into the trees on the property, the church and parsonage would have been seriously threatened.
“I think God sent an angel to knock on that door!” I told Chris. The area was so brown and dry… it could have caught fire in minutes, embers could have been on the roofs of the buildings and we would have had to flee the property! Normally, I can work on a message for several hours at a time without moving from my chair, and I seldom check the front yard from where I sit. From my chair I can see cars and people coming and going! Had God not sent that quiet knock to draw my attention to the front yard, that whole side might have been blazing in a short time. God spared the church, the parsonage and us!
The following Sunday I described the incident as an illustration of God giving our church a special gift of safety. How precious to witness the people respond spontaneously with applause to the Lord for sparing our Church and parsonage and sending His own “angelic alert signal” of three gentle knocks! Who else could it have been?
Dan and Chris Kennedy have served at Brinnon Community Church, located in Brinnon, WA, since January of 2010.