In February, Sally Swiecki lost her home to a fire in Northfork, Calif. Everything was destroyed except the Bible. Although singed on the edges, as Sally described it, “Not a Word was lost.”
Reported in the local newspaper, Sierra Star, Sally told people, “The flames of Hell will not burn God’s Word. And, the flames on earth had hidden from Him at my house.”
I was able to meet this amazing 86-year-old woman through information provided by the Star. Sally and I spent an unusual day together. I watched as events fell into place that seemed divinely guided. Donations, filling most of her needs, were even color-coordinated—fitting perfectly into the rental the insurance provided.
And, then, there was Todd, a local who was having a huge yard sale. He told Sally to pick out anything she still needed. She gathered toys for her 21 great grandchildren, clothes, nick-knacks, stationary, books and more.
Things got especially interesting as we were leaving. Sally mentioned she used to be a red-hatter, that organization where the women who meet for tea wear hats of that color. All 26 of those keepsakes were lost in the fire; mementoes her grandchildren and great grandchildren still loved to wear when playing dress-up.
Todd asked us to wait and went in the house. Triumphantly, he brought out a beautiful red hat—still in the box—with a ‘red hatter’s’ scarf to go with it! Sally took out her singed Bible, showing it to Todd. She said God had arranged for the two of them to meet to bless her in a special way through his generosity. The feeling was mutual.
The medicine from this article is not only of God’s miracles and provision, but also about this woman so filled with faith that she could trust God, no matter what. Personally, I have never encountered anyone like Sally. She seemed not at all absorbed in herself, but totally dependent and thankful to her Heavenly Father.
“One lady hugged me,” Sally expressed to the Star. “She was crying, and asked, ‘How could you be so strong?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. But, I can break down, and fall down, and cry, and it’s not going to stop the flames. So why use the energy that way?’”
In the midst of these goings-on, while Sally was thankful simply to be alive, God chose to make an appearance. He showed His compassion and care first through the singed edges of a worn Bible. Then, through goods and donations from kindly strangers, and a simple red hat quietly sitting in its box, He turned a fiery disaster into a shower of neighborly blessings.