Glued to my news sources, I — like you — have poured over the events that unfolded this week in San Bernardino. Gunmen enter and shoot. People duck and run. Police chase. Shoot out. Death and ‘carnage’. Sad — just very sad.
Of all the photos and videos recalling the events, there was one that keeps playing in my mind. Taken from a cell phone, it shows an officer leading a group through the building, away from danger. The quote on the video, by the officer is brief. Seventeen words in all — forgive the vernacular.
“Try to relax, try to relax. I’ll take a bullet before you do, that’s for damn sure.”
Simply watching the screen from 2000 plus miles away, even I was comforted by his statement. Knowing that someone was between me and danger brings relief to my soul. Knowing that if a corner was turned and I stared death in the face that there was someone who would take the hit, gives me peace and makes me relax.
These words could have been spoken by Jesus. Reflectively, I guess they were. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” The shot rang out. Then another. “Father why have you forsaken me? Why have you me into the line of fire against people who don’t love you, people who don’t trust you, people who don’t even know who you really are.” Truthfully, it was Jesus’ choice.
He leads us, out of harms way — out of deaths doors — into the sun — into freedom.
I hope this connection isn’t crass. I pray that you don’t think I’m spiritualizing something that is tragic. But that’s the nature of humanity. Everything is spiritual, even words spoken in an intense moment in San Bernardino.