An alarming morning

Family Life

Dawn Reed

By Dawn Reed

Guest Columnist

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.

Dawn Reed Reed
Family Life
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