Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace? They were thrown into a raging fiery furnace but God was with them and they came out without a singed hair or smell of smoke on them. I saw Shadrach this morning. Well, almost.
We had a brush pile in the garden that needed to be burned so we can plant garden whenever the ground is fit for planting. With rain in the forecast the rest of the week and a still wind this morning, it seemed like this was the best time to do the job. Leroy helped get the fire started before he left for work and then I kept it going. When it was down to a small pile I left it to hang the laundry on the line. Then I went back to rake it together again so it keeps burning. By this time it wasn't much more than a pile of charcoal.
I was amazed when I saw a wiggle at the edge of the ashes and Shadrach emerged. His brown fur and long tail were singed black and I'm sure the smell of smoke was on him. (Or maybe it was a she, since females seem to generally have a greater pain tolerance than males.) Whatever it was, I couldn't believe a living creature had survived that inferno.
She sat there, singed and gasping for breath. I had a rake in my hand and knew my husband and sons would say "bop it." But I hesitated. What if it should turn and charge at me? What if Meshach and Abednego came crawling out too? I decided to let it die a slow death from smoke inhalation, dropped my rake, and walked away. I don't get anywhere near mice, even with a ten-foot pole.
When all the laundry was on the line I went back to the pile, intending to rake the corpse onto the charcoal for cremation. It was gone! Shadrach survived the fiery furnace. I can only hope she was sterilized in the fire and there won't be any grandchildren to hear her tell the story.