These days we live near an ambulance transport service. It has become common to hear sirens at all times of the day and night as the emergency vehicles respond to a call.
Tonight the sirens went off as I was sitting, disgruntled, looking at the sink full of dishes, feeling pressured to update the family calendar, and knowing the pile of clothing sitting in front of the washing machine wasn’t going to pick itself up and enter the tub of its own volition.
And then the sirens went off and I realized, “That’s the sound of someone’s worst day.”
When I was in college a friend of mine rather bashfully admitted that every time she heard ambulance sirens she would say the Lord’s Prayer. It inspired me to utter a simple prayer when I hear the noise: “Lord, please be with whomever is involved in this situation. Please help everyone involved to do their part to the best of their ability. May Your will be done and please allow peace to invade this moment.”
It’s gotten to be such a habit our kids will stop what they’re doing when they hear sirens and say, “Oh! Mommy! We need to pray!” but we hear sirens so often now I think I forget the significance…
- That siren means someone is in danger… and I’m worried about dishes in the sink.
- That siren means there’s a chance someone’s life has just changed irrevocably… and my thoughts are consumed with putting events on a family calendar.
- That siren means someone’s nightmares just came true… and I’m busy thinking the laundry needs to do itself and just leave me alone.
It’s the sound of someone’s worst day. And I have so very much to be thankful for in my own life and I’m pretending this is my worst day ever.
Sometimes my life gets put into perspective by the wailing of a siren.