A list of the most expressive words in the English language was once compiled by a dictionary publisher. Among the words were:
“Alone”–the most bitter word
“Death”–the most tragic
“Revenge”–the most cruel
“Love”–the most beautiful
“Love” is such a beautiful word that the apostle Paul wrote an essay about it in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. When Paul listed the fruits of the spirit, he began with love as though that were a kind of foundation for all of the other virtues he mentioned. Although love is a beautiful word, it is also a hard word… at least to live by. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man may lay down his life for his friends.”That is a kind of love most of us may never know about. Not many of us will be called upon to die for our friends.
Another time Jesus called upon his disciples to love their enemies. Just try to wrap your mind around that command and live it
to its full measure. How about a stranger? Can we love a stranger? Can we show them compassion? There are those among us that
Our emergency service personnel do! We have Deputies, Officers, Fire Fighters, EMS personnel, Search and Rescue personnel and
Corrections officers that many times place themselves at risk to save lives. Many times for a stranger, often for a friend, and sometimes for their enemies. These men and women who serve their communities are dedicated to service and are willing, if necessary, to risk their
safety for the sake of others.
Is there a lesson to be learned from our emergency responders? Our responders are dedicated to the mission… they are focused on the task at hand. Recently I was able to participate and observe 100’s of responders in a mission of compassion. Their mission was recovery of those who were lost in the Oso/Darrington mud slide in Snohomish County. The response from strangers to those communities was overwhelming, not only to us but to the communities of Arlington, Oso and Darrington.
Asked, “Where is God in all of this?” My reply has to be… In the response and in those responding. In the Loggers, Oso and Darrington Fire
departments, the Snohomish County Deputies, The Washington State Patrol who were first on scene. In the over 100 fire agencies who sent personnel, in the Red Cross volunteers, The Northwest Disaster Relief volunteers, The National Guard and Army units, The Chaplain corps that responded from Green Cross, Disaster Relief, Red Cross, and Washington State Patrol.
God was in the response of those who showed compassion and love for those communities.