Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee ...

Monday, September 1, 1997, 3:32 pm; \19970901.15

        At about nine this morning I was at work on the construction site. They asked me to stand on the top of a scaffold and cut with a quickie saw. Now, a quickie saw looks like a very large chain saw with a twelve inch cutting wheel on the front of it.

        We had trouble starting the saw. My partner, who left to do something else, had dipped the new spark plug in the gas tank before putting it in. Unknown to me, he had not tightened the cap. What I was cutting on the top of the wall was a steel bearing plate. That is what they set in the top of a masonry wall so that you can weld down a metal roof.

        You are probably getting a picture I was soon to get. When you cut steel with a quickie saw you get sparks. I looked down and I was standing in ten inch flames. An area about eighteen inches long and as wide as the two scaffold boards I was standing on was burning. The gas had been steadily dripping on to the boards and my leg.

        My left boot was burning. There were flames about six inches high dancing on it. I tried to stamp it out with my right boot, but it did not work. The first thing I decided to do when that did not work was get down out of the flames. I scampered down the scaffold to the main level. I am not really that good on a scaffold, but when you are on fire you tend to forget the fear of falling. I did not know I could move that fast up there. The wall I was cutting on was fourteen feet high. The scaffold section I was on was ten feet high. The level I dropped to was seven feet off of the concrete.

        I successfully stamped out the burning boot with the boot that was not on fire. The next thing I saw was flames beginning to dance around the neck of the gas tank on the saw. I swatted the flame out with my hand. Let me say that again, I swatted the flame out with my hand.

        The level I had been standing on was now waist high. I took my hard hat off and beat most of the flames out with it. I let the last little area burn out on its own. I stood there shaking for a little while and the Lord said, "It is ok, go back to work."

        I told my boss about what had happened. As I walked back to my truck there were these almost deafening words coming from the Throne of God:


[Isaiah 43:2-3 King James Version]

        The reason I am not talking about damage to me is because there is none. The only physical evidence is a burn mark on the scaffold and a slightly melted area on the nylon shoe lace of my left boot.

Paul Phillips