It begins with a sunrise. Birds chirp a beautiful song across the yard. One activity flows into the other with hardly a thought and so starts the hustle of the day. Eyes volley from work to the news as it airs non-stop. Terror has rained on the homeland once again, a crime which our nation can’t ignore. Central Texas will not ignore it.
Stories of devastation and valor reign supreme. Eyewitness accounts and videos, response evaluation, and even political rhetoric fill the airwaves. Theories of responsibility interlace the breaking news as the victims fight for their lives.
Prayers lift to heaven, in petition and thanksgiving, for those in Boston. May the Lord protect, guide, and heal the injured. May the Holy Spirit place a hedge around that city to protect and restore Boston for the Lord’s good work. Amen.
As Wednesday comes to a slow close, clouds fill the sky in central Texas. A mist is in the air and the wind begins to howl. Suddenly, the ground shakes and it sounds like thunder outside, but no rain falls.
Text messages come across my phone and my Facebook message queue lights up.
Are you all right? What’s going on? How far are you from the plant? Which way is the wind blowing?
Stories of devastation and chaos reign supreme. Eyewitness accounts and video fill the airwaves. Fire shoots into the air as the estimate of the death toll can’t even be guessed. Injured is over two hundred. The call for ambulances is “send all you’ve got.” Homes and lives are destroyed. Destruction has rained on the homeland, an event no neighbor can ignore. Central Texas will not ignore it.
Prayers lift to heaven, in petition and thanksgiving, for the citizens of West. May the Lord place his Holy arms around the families and friends of the fifteen lost in the explosion. Dear Holy Father, may Your mighty hand bring quick healing to those who were injured in this blast and place a hedge of protection around this small town as it rebuilds. Through Your provision and love, may it be a quick and efficient process. Amen.
The explosions in Boston and West have one valuable element in common, people. After the roar was over, even before the dust settled, heroes emerged. Those special people, not necessarily isolated or even few, who ran into the fray to help. To offer a tourniquet to stem the flow of blood, or lift a person out of harm’s way. Or spray a water hose on a burning building, or transport a truckload of patients to a safer triage site then another before finally to a hospital.
Heroes walk among us every single day, angels in disguise. They work as accountants, pharmacists, or mechanics. They give up their seat on the bus for the elderly woman or young woman with a child. They fight to stem the flow of blood and save a life when another bomb may blow at any second. They answer a call to a fertilizer plant and never make it home.
All such people are identified by one distinguishing characteristic. They are courageous and help their fellow man, no matter the cost.
What an aspiring goal! To serve your neighbor. Truly, they must be rare, right? Well, I would have to disagree after the last week or two.
The finish line of the Boston Marathon experienced two horrific explosions. The injured lay wounded on the sidewalk and street. They were not left alone to die. Heroes ran into the chaos and saved their lives. When the fertilizer plant in West, Texas exploded, a five-block radius turned into a war-zone. Fifty homes, an intermediate school, nursing home, and two-story apartment complex were destroyed. Over two-hundred people were injured and fifteen people lost their lives. Twelve of those were volunteer firefighters who served because they loved their community and are a testament to the very word of hero. Others were seen in the aftermath and relief effort afterwards.
These two events showed that everyone, anyone can be a hero. A job description, plaque on the wall, or shiny badge does not give one the title. It’s what is inside the person that counts.
So, are you one?
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”