Campfire Catastrophe

by Morgan Metcalf

“Girls,” Mom called, “would you like to go Sabbath afternoon with our friends to Pisgah Forest Campground?” “We could take our bikes to ride on the trails,” said my sister, Megan. “There will be a campfire there, too, where we can roast mushrooms, right,

Mom?” I said.

“Yes, but we will not be staying the night. We will come home afterwards,” answered Mom.

“Oh, yeah, that would be fun!” answered Megan and I.

“We will need to pack some things tonight. Then after church we will go over for the day,” said Mom. This was going to be fun because we would be with our friends all day.
After church Megan, Mom, Dad, and I changed our clothes and started out for the campground, which was just 30 minutes away. When we got there, everybody was ready to eat. There were lots of delicious foods ready to fill our stomachs with. After we had stuffed ourselves, all the kids went down to the river to play and skip rocks.
“Be careful,” called Mom as we headed down.
“We will,” chorused Megan and I.
It was lots of fun splashing around and catching water striders. We skipped rocks down the river to see who could skip the farthest. Later we searched for slimy, bright-colored salamanders as our toes froze in the cool water. It was so cold that it almost knocked our breath away when we jumped in from a big rock. After we were all thoroughly exhausted, we all agreed to head back to the campsite to find a new way to entertain ourselves.

There we unanimously chose to build a pine needle fort. To the dismay of my friends and me, the older kids became the “rulers” and the “little kids,” as
they called the younger siblings, were the workers. After a short time, we “little kids” decided we did not like this arrangement very well, so we quit the game.

As the sun started to disappear behind the trees, we “little kids” set about making our own campfire on a friend’s campsite just down from where the adults had their fire, close enough that they could keep an eye on us. We had a big, beautiful fire, and we were proud of it too!

It got darker and darker, and the less light we had, the less you could see what was in front of you as you walked. I hadn’t even taken five steps when I felt my foot catch on some dark object. I felt myself falling, and as I looked toward the ground, I saw that everything under me was a fiery red, with hot coals and flames licking up into the air. As I stretched out my right hand to catch myself, I felt a sharp burning run through my hand, and a tremendous heat surrounded me.

I moved faster than I ever had in my life to get away from that painful feeling. The next thing I knew I was standing, holding my throbbing hand and crying like I never had before. I had tripped over the grill that lay beside the fire pit, and my hand had gone right into the coals.

Still in a state of shock, I started screaming “Mommy! Mommy!” At that, all the adults from the other fire started running over to see what had happened. My mom wrapped her arms around me and rushed me to the water faucet, where the cold running water helped the pain. I begged her between whimpers to make it stop hurting. Some kind ladies that were with our group brought out raw eggs to help soothe the pain.

I was rushed to the emergency room, where I had to wait a long time before anyone could help us. The pain seemed to get worse with every minute that went by. Finally, after what seemed like hours, they called me into a room, and a nurse put ointment on my hand and then wrapped it in gauze. As I waited for the doctor to come examine my hand, my worn-out body could not keep me awake any longer, so I fell asleep.

I was awakened by the doctor, who unwrapped my blistered hand. I had a second-degree burn. Before we left the hospital, the nurse said that I would get large blisters all over the burned area and that my mom should watch me carefully during the night.

Since I’m right-handed, the next few days were hard because it was my right hand that was burned. This posed a difficulty, since my hand was wrapped up like a mummy! The nurse had predicted right when she said, “You’ll get blisters.” I sure did!

All during my healing process we would talk about my experience. After the incident, we had found lots of ash in my hair, but my hair was not burned at all! We remembered that when I fell, my long hair flipped right into the flames,
since it was not tied back. If it had caught on fire, my whole head and maybe more would have been burned. We were absolutely amazed! We believed that my angel must have saved my long hair from the fire and saved me from getting hurt any further.

A while later, as my hand healed, I did not have to wear any more gauze, just a few band-aids with a glove over top to keep out dirt and maintain cleanliness to prevent infection. When my hand healed completely, there was only one tiny scar where one of the blisters had been. What minor damage compared to the amount I could have had!

The Bible says in Psalm 91:11, 12, “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” In my case, “Lest thou burn thy hair in the flaming fire.”

I experienced just that. If my angel had not been there, who knows what might have happened to me. Truly, we have a God Who cares for us at every moment, during every incident in our lives. We always need to remember to pray and ask Him for His protection over us.

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Campfire Catastrophe

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