Run toward the fire, not away from it!


I remember seeing actual video that was taken on 9/11  in the lobby of one of the twin towers. 

Everyone was  getting out of the building as fast as they could. 

Everyone except for the firemen — they were going into the building to try to put out the fire and save people.

I can’t imagine that there was even one of them who didn’t have to suppress a natural urge to put their own lives first, and run out of the building too.  But those brave firefighters went into the building anyway and saved many lives that day, while many of them lost their own.  They were all true heros.

Our natural instinct is to see to our own comfort first.  But that doesn’t always fit God’s plan!  I believe He wants us to be aware if there is a “fire” around us and run toward it!  The “fire” I’m talking about in this case is a crisis in someone else’s life.

I recently “talked” via e-mail to a friend who was telling me about a very emotional crisis that has been happening in her elderly parents’ life for about the last month that their long-time church family is seeming to collectively ignore.  I have no idea why that would be, but I’m guessing that their fellow Christians  “don’t know what to say”, so they are just staying away!

I’ve heard those words, “I don’t know what to say” used as a reason not to go to a wake too.  But I know, from having been on the receiving end, that the survivors don’t remember much of what is said, but they do so appreciate and are uplifted by the people who just took the time to come!

So, I’m writing this today to remind all of us, including myself, that there may be “fires” happening in lives around us that we are ignoring because it’s painful or uncomfortable for us to address what is going on — maybe because “we don’t know what to say”.   But I don’t think that is what God intends for us to do.  However awkward we feel doing it, I think He wants us to do whatever we can to comfort and uplift those around us who need it.

May we all renew our resolve to “run toward the fire, not away from it” when we see someone who is hurting.

14 Responses to Run toward the fire, not away from it!

  1. Sam says:

    Timely words, Sandie! I have also seen an “I don’t know what to say” situation this week. And the resultant pain.

  2. Sandra says:

    Sam — Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon, and certainly the easier path!

  3. ddmaas says:

    This is such a good post. When I went through my dad’s illness and death a few years ago, it really taught me how important it is to sometimes just be there however you can (in person, via a card, via email) to show you care. I try to remember that now whenever I see someone else hurting and don’t know quite what to say or do. Thanks for the reminder to look to God to help us “run toward the fire.”

  4. gigi says:

    My aunt died over Christmas. I went to the funeral and saw my cousin, her son, a month later and he mentioned how much of the day was a blur for him.

    Yes, go, write – I try to sent a personal story about the deceased along with a card or email, though regular post is best to reach the people I know.

    Yes, it’s hard to think of what to say or write but I find it important for me to keep the few connections I still have.

  5. Sandra says:

    ddmaas — You’re welcome. But, of course, your first hand experience is what really teaches you this lesson, isn’t it.

    Gigi — The older I get the more I realize how precious “connections” are. You’re right, we need to continually work on them.

  6. carlahoag says:

    Thank you, Sandy for reminding us all of what’s important. Unfortunately, my selfish nature concentrates on my crises, rather than on the ones my fellow man are experiencing.

    Good analogy, too.

  7. Vicki says:

    So beautifully stated. Thanks for sharing! V.

  8. Sandra says:

    Carla – Me too. This reminder was really for myself.

    Vicki — Thank you, friend.

  9. Amy O says:

    Thank you for the reminder. Or even just listen to those.

  10. Sandra says:

    Amy — Yes, even just listening can help. I think the problem is that we think if we do something, it has to be something BIG! So, yes, just listening can be a small, but helpful action.

  11. lynn says:

    Nice post and great reminder that just being there and giving a hug is sometimes the biggest blessing you could offer. In times of sorrow I have also appreciated very simple sympathy cards with a message like, “We are sad with you and are praying for you.” It’s just a short, sweet reminder that others care.

  12. Sandra says:

    Lynn — “that others care” are the key words, aren’t they? When we are in crisis, the “we cares” from others, in whatever form, are so uplifting.

  13. Tim King says:

    I remember attending a funeral for the brother of an old friend of mine. Several days afterward, as I recall, he emailed me to thank me for coming. He said that he had never before realized how significant it was to have people you know and love just to be around at a time like that.

    I’ll always remember that.


  14. Sandra says:

    Tim — We’ve had similar experiences over the years and those experiences are what make us pretty faithful about attending wakes and funerals. It is much easier once you realize that it really does make a difference to the survivors., doesn’t it.

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