In the wake of the recent tragedies: the bombing at the Boston marathon and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, we are a nation grieving. It is hard to understand how people can intentionally plant bombs and hurt and kill other people. It is unimaginable. Then, in the aftermath of that nightmare, comes the explosion at a fertilizer plant. It is horrific and hard to look at the devastation and aftermath. It started as a fire, and then exploded.
It’s hard to think of such sorrow, grief, devastation and loss. It’s difficult to see the images and hear the stories about either tragedy. Yet, as a nation, we need to see and hear what happened…but despite our anger and frustration, we need to pay attention to the other stories: the ones about other people risking their own lives to help those in need.
It was reported that several marathon runners went to area hospitals to donate blood. And while many instinctively ran away from danger, others ran toward the explosion in Boston to help those who were injured, to do anything and everything they could to help total strangers.
The story, although a very different scenario, wasn’t much different in West, Texas. The fire department in West is made up of volunteer fire fighters. They were the front line between the raging fire and people, homes and nearby businesses. These men risked their lives to try and contain a raging fire. Yet, the plant exploded, killing those very same first responders. Other first responders were trying to vacate people who lived near the plant. Once the explosion hit, it leveled the plant, damaging many homes and businesses, causing significant damage to several other structures.
West, Texas has a population of around 2500 people, and through this tragedy, neighboring towns and cities have flocked to help. Within 24 hours, the Red Cross was in place and food, water and clothing were available for the residents who lost everything or needed help. Other people were there quickly to help locate those who are missing. The outpour of support has been tremendous.
Through these recent, horrific tragedies, it is comforting to know that America still has more (many more!) citizens who are good and ready to help those in need…than those who want to cause harm.
As you continue to pray for those killed, injured, the missing and all of the lives these tragedies have touched, please also pray for blessings for those who risked their lives to help. Remember the police, the firefighters, the doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, first responders and the normal men and women who became heroes to us, because they cared enough to help.