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.