What if you were sitting at home and a family member yelled, “The house is on fire!”
What precious family heirlooms, photo albums, etc. would you most grieve losing?
For 90-year-old Marion Shelton, only one item was on her mind as she watched her home engulf in the flames.
Marion Shelton lived in a mobile home in Virginia.
She didn’t have a ton of things but certainly her home was filled with items that were important to her. Some items were passed down to her through family heritage and some items she may have desired to give to others after she passed on.
Of course, there were also photographs and documents… and she was a fan of books.
When the fire started in Shelton’s home, at first she “didn’t know what was happening.”
Telling her story to local news, she says that by the time she really understood, her home was mostly destroyed.
“I was trying to get out because I couldn’t get no breath.”
Shelton’s nephew Billy Hardy was present at the time, thank God. As soon as he noticed something strange, he acted. His quickness saved them both.
“Flames were roughly 5, 6 feet tall and glass was breaking.”
As she sat watching the remains of her house falling to shreds, and fire rescue entering the scene, she had a single thought.
Yet it was enough to drop her heart to her stomach.
She had left her beloved 75-year-old Bible.
This Bible had been with her through the joys and struggles, the trials and tribulations of most of her life.
In fact, Shelton even reports that she has read it cover to cover at least 18 times.
As she watched everything she knew burn up before her eyes, that Bible was the one item she wished she could save.
Someone made her wish known to the Brosville Fire and Rescue organization and they reported on their Facebook about their response to learning the story:
“Brosville Fire and Rescue assisted with a trailer fire this afternoon. This 90 year old lady lost everything she had due to the fire. She didn’t mind though, because we saved the bible she has had for over 75 years!”
That’s right, the firefighters miraculously saved Mrs. Shelton’s treasured Bible!
One volunteer with the fire organization, Amber Stowe, called Shelton “our new granny.”
The picture of that moment when the Bible was returned to her is pretty unforgettable. “She was very happy about it and was actually in tears.”
Breathing tubes intact, Shelton sat clutching the precious Word that got her through so much of life up to this point. She knew that whatever life God has remaining for her on this Earth would be held together by those very same, Life-giving Words.
Please pray for Marion Shelton as she now proceeds to find a home, and also recovers from the trauma of losing so much.
Experiencing a fire affects spiritual and mental health just as much as physical. Pray for God’s peace and hope as she moves forward. Amen.