Tag Archives: Tragedy

Remembering September 10th

This date will go down in history as a tragic one for our world. The cold heartedness that could bring such atrocity to mankind makes ones heart tremble. We pause in remembrance of the tragedy that has occurred. We look forward, gaining strength from those who have been an example of heroism in the past.

The evil of hunger claimed the lives of 40,000 children on 9/10 that did not need to die. They were little ones to whom belongs the kingdom. Their death was not due to the overt hatred and action of ones they would call their enemies. These children died because of the passive complacency of people they might even call friends. There is no monument built at which to lay flowers or say prayers on behalf of these victims. Their names are not remembered on this campus, for we did not know them personally.

Try as we may, we cannot point the finger and say with conviction, “let justice be served.” If there is injustice it is our own doing. If we seek to point the finger we can only look to our own apathy and lack of concern for addressing this tragedy. This catastrophic event that we faced and continue to face is real and it is happening everyday. This is an issue that requires, even demands, our action. History will repeat it self. History IS repeating itself.

We do not mourn this tragedy without hope, we have hope. We have an example and a hope to look to because there are heroes who came before us. Jesus was that example and he IS that hope. He told us to give to the least of these, to love our neighbors; He feed, healed, shared. Like the parable of Lazarus we stand as the rich man with the resources God has given to us and we are not sharing with the poor beggar who is within our reach.

Let me be clear, the events remembered on 9/11 are tragic, and we are right to remember and mourn. For those who experienced the loss of friends or family, I and this community grieve with you. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to witness first hand the loss of a loved one, and collectively with so many in our nation. 9/10 should not be any less remembered. The loss of life that occurred this day was tragic and was within our means to stop. And each day from then until now the same tragedy occurs, and we either never cared in the first place, or have become so desensitized that our heart is numb.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” These children that are dying are our neighbors, many are our brothers and sisters in Christ. In past centuries we could say we lacked the means and resources to address these issues. Today we do not have that option. If we continue to live in the gross abundance that we have as our brothers and sisters daily die of starvation and disease that we can combat, we are without excuse.
Grieve 9/11 and pray the Lord keep your heart tender and open to His love. Grieve 9/10 and each day, and pray the Lord would turn your heart to a fervent life changing love for those in need. Pray he teaches you his truth, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Originally published in the Wheaton Record at Wheaton College. Published also at Relevantmagazine.com and Circle6 magazine.

The News makes choices on what’s important

The Crocodile Hunter dies. Okay, so I realize why this gets media attention. An international celebrity, an environmentalist, quite a character. As a friend said, “This is seriously like finding out there’s no Santa. He was invincible.” If you want to find out about another crazy radical killed by dangerous animals he hung out with, check out this movie.

I understand all that, and I understand why the news story on The Today Show yesterday spent time commentating on the death of the Crocodile Hunter and how sad that is.

What I don’t understand is why we don’t spend an equal amount of time commentating, discussing, and pondering the tragedy of six children dying in a fire because a candle tipped over in thier apartment where there were no working smoke alarms and the candle was their current source of light since their electricity had been off since May. I’m not advocating for universal electricity service or anything. I’m just saying, that’s a tragedy, and it’s an important one for us to discuss.
Where was the interview of the local pastor, asking how we can preach a gospel that calls us to help those in need, and yet we let this women and her children live without electricity for months? Where is the commentary on the reality of slum landlords that don’t keep their buildings up to code?
Why is the death of six children not worth as much media time and energy as the death of a man who many expected would die in an accident similar to the what happened?

Fire kills 6 children in Chicago – The Boston Globe

Commonwealth Edison spokesman John Dewey said the apartment hadn’t had electricity since May, but he wouldn’t say why it was turned off, citing confidentiality policies.

Orozco said smoke detectors were found in common areas of the building but not the gutted apartment.

“We have working smoke detectors in all of our apartment units at the time the tenants sign their leases,” said Jay Johnson, the owner of the building. All the smoke detectors in the building are hard-wired to the electrical system, he said.

Whitney Cerak: Alive and in a coma

UPDATE: The Cerak’s and the VanRyn’s have recently written a book about their experience, you can order it here:
Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

I feel an important obligation to the many people that have found my blog as a result of a search for Whitney Cerak to direct you to the current news.

I’ll do my best to keep you updated as I hear more, but your best source will be the VanRyn’s personal blog.