Twenty years ago a single mother lived alone with her baby girl on the second story of a rental home. She needed a couple of items from the store just around the corner, so she left her baby asleep in her cradle, and hurried to the store.
While paying for her items at the counter, she heard sirens and looked up to see a firetruck pass by and turn the corner toward her house. She ran outside the store and around the corner to see the firetruck stopped in front of her home. Smoke and flames rose from the roof of her house.
She dropped her items and ran toward the house screaming, "My baby! My baby is in there!" A fireman stopped her and held her back. The chief came over and gave her the worst possible news: "Ma'am, I'm sorry. The fire is out of control. It is too dangerous for anyone to go in there. It means certain death to anyone who tries to enter that structure now."
One of the fireman stepped forward and said that he would like to try to save the baby. The chief informed the brave fireman that there was no way he could get out alive. But the fireman said, "Sir, I have a baby at home. I have to try."
The chief reluctantly allowed the brave fireman to enter the burning house. The young fireman scampered up the stairs, turned the corner and found the child. He took the baby into his arms and started back toward the staircase. A beam from above cracked and caused a large section of the roof to fall. The staircase was completely wiped out. Much of the floor was gone.
The fireman stood against a wall holding the baby. Between him and the window the floor was gone. He called to the men outside and instructed them to prepare the safety net below the window. Then he said, "I can't get to the window, but I think I can save the baby. Her only chance is if I can toss her through the window into the net."
The brave fireman counted to three, kissed the baby girl on the forehead, and lobbed her perfectly through the window. She was caught safely in the net.
The fireman never made it out.
Today, twenty years later, a small statue of a fireman stands in a cemetery marking the place where he was laid to rest. Today, like every day, a young lady bends over his grave and places flowers at the feet of the statue. Today, like every day, just before she leaves, the young lady kisses the forehead of the statue and whispers, "Thank you for giving your life for me."
Why have a time of daily prayer? Why spend time with God in the morning? If for no other reason -- to say, "Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life for me."
Garlands of Praise Laid at His Feet,