By David Lindeman
We all love a good rescue story.
When the tornadoes swept through Kentucky earlier this month, we all watched and read everything we could to find out about what happened to those people in the candle factory in Mayfield, Ky.
We saw the pictures – the building was flattened, there seemed to be no way anyone could have survived. Nonetheless, the rescue effort started almost immediately. No matter how hopeless it looked, the rescue workers were there around the clock to dig through the rubble.
They did manage to pull a few survivors out. We were all relieved when we heard that most of the workers at the factory hadn’t been trapped after all, but had managed to escape the destruction.
That was two weeks ago – we’ve pretty much gone on with our lives and forgotten about it now.
Back in November, a 69-year-old man was out on his boat alone when it capsized. He spent 22 hours hanging on to the boat until rescuers finally reached him. What a great story! An old guy out in the ocean all by himself with a happy ending. I kind of forget the details now, but it sure was uplifting at the time.
Depending on where you live or work, you might hear a siren from a local fire department or rescue squad just about every day. It’s good to know there’s someone there willing to respond to emergencies. You might even say a prayer for whoever it is they’re rushing off to save. Then we go back to our own lives and pretty much forget about it.
Humans love rescues so much they even will go to great lengths to save pets or wild animals. We’ll all do all we can to find a lost pet or help a neighbor track down that dog or cat than wandered off. It sure feels good when they are found. Brukner Nature Center saves many wild animals brought there by concerned people, who are grateful there is someplace where they can take those animals for help. Once they’re dropped off, we can rest assured they’re in good hands and not have to think about them anymore.
I bring all this up because we’re in the middle of the Christmas season. Yes, the presents are fun, the lights are beautiful and the food is good. But at its very core, Christmas really is the rescue story that tops them all.
Here we are, tiny human beings with limited ability adrift in an endless universe. We get ourselves into bad situations all the time. We’re the people who didn’t listen to the tornado warning or the raccoon who walked in front of a car or the dog who isn’t smart enough to know he should stay at home or the guy who decides to go out on a big ocean in a little boat.
We need to be rescued.
And what other rescue story even comes close to the one that we recite each year at this time. You could say Jesus Christ is the Ultimate First Responder, willing to give up life to rescue everyone else. He didn’t stop to determine if our problems were our own fault or if we would be grateful or even if we would admit we needed to be rescued. He just did it.
The Christmas story really is something special. It tends to get lost in all the surrounding glitter, but as we clean up after opening the presents and take down the lights and finish off the last of the Christmas meal, it might be nice to take a moment to reflect on the greatest rescue story of all time.
It’s one we shouldn’t forget.