By Dawn Reed
The first thing you should know is that it wasn’t my fault. Really, it wasn’t.
Since my total hip replacement six years ago, I walk inside the church a few mornings every week. (It’s one of my favorite times of the day-quiet and peaceful.) I look rough, to be honest, with morning hair and my thick glasses. I also wear a big winter coat to make me sweat more. (It’s like a portable sauna.) I look a bit creepy-like the villain in Urban Legend.
We had just installed a new sprinkler system at the church. As I entered the building, I glanced at the cool new red box on the wall. It read “DISARMED”, which is one of my very favorite words in the entire English language.
This morning, I was earlier than usual. It was 5:30 and still dark. As I made my rounds, I prayed…for my family, friends, church people, co-workers, etc. and pondered the day before me. Suddenly, the alarm went off-screaming to every living thing that trouble was afoot. The system was brand new so I had no clue what to do!
I called my beloved-the pastor-and woke him up. I yelled into the phone over the alarm, “The alarm is going off!” as if he couldn’t hear it. Coming quickly awake, he gave me instructions but I just couldn’t get it to stop! He hung up so I KNEW he was on his way. I stood waiting by the door feeling stupid.
One minute later, he screeched into the parking lot. No words were necessary. Still, I felt compelled to yell, “I didn’t do anything!” He punched in several very important numbers and the alarm stopped-may the Lord’s Name be praised.
As he walked around the church looking for smoke, the phone rang. It was the security company. As I listened to the conversation I thought I heard a knock at the door. “Who would be at the door?” I wondered. It was a nice city policeman.
“Hello,” I said as I opened the door.
“Is everything OK?” he asked very suspicious.
“Yes,” I answered, looking very suspicious in a snow parka with the hood up. I put the hood down.
I noticed that he had a big flashlight in his hand. (It was still dark.) His eyebrows were still raised as he assessed the situation.
Finally, I had the presence of mind to blurt out, “The pastor’s in there!” and pointed down the hallway. “I’ll get him!” I volunteered as I hurried away.
“The police are here!” I called to my beloved. (Something I don’t say every day.)
“Everything looks fine,” he told the nice policeman and then explained that a new fire system had just been installed the day before.
I heard the sound of tires in the parking lot. It was a FIRE TRUCK! Dad gum it!
There are not enough words to apologize to a nice policeman and a crew of fire fighters for a false alarm. I just stood there looking guilty in my snow coat.
It was just a glitch in the new system and was fixed speedy quick after the sun came up.
Now that it has warmed up, I’m walking outside just to be safe.