Several years ago, my family took a trip to Historic Charleston, South Carolina. For those in our family who are history buffs, it was such a treat to walk amongst those buildings and streets, some 300 years old or more.
We strolled through downtown and the outdoor market area. We watched artisans diligently working on sweetgrass baskets, a Charleston specialty, although we only bought t-shirts and beef jerky. (We’re not really very good at shopping.)
We took a boat tour and saw Fort Sumter, the location for the start of the Civil War. We ate delicious seafood and we stayed in a hotel that was once a military college.
It was a fun and memorable vacation. For me, the highlight of our half-week stay was the horse-drawn carriage tour.
We boarded a carriage with another family and listened to the tour guide as she told us interesting facts about the city. She pointed out significant spots—churches, mansions, and gardens. She told us about the strict policies present-day homeowners must obey when renovating these historic homes.
On several of the oldest homes, she pointed out “Fire Mark Plaques” on the outside, mounted near the front doors. Our tour guide explained that these plaques indicated that these homes were protected by fire insurance.
As the story goes, if a house caught fire, the firefighters would arrive and check for one of these plaques. If there was none, they would leave, allowing the fire to destroy the home. (The tour guide explained that this is an urban legend and the firefighters were actually honor bound to put out the fire regardless of the presence of such a plaque.)
If the deliverance of one’s home from fire and destruction did rely on insurance such as this, it would sully the honorable name of those who came to rescue it. Instead, we know that firefighters risk it all for the safety of others.
Selfless Sacrifice. This is the recipe for superhuman heroism. And this is also the recipe for a God who was willing to sacrifice His Son for humankind. We don’t have to pay Him insurance fees or ransom money for what amounts to a hostage exchange: Me for Christ.
God sent His Son to earth to die thousands of years before there was a “me”. Now, I am grateful to spend the rest of my life in obligation to Him who gave it all. I guess, I am insured against fire, after all.