Monday, April 22, 2013

Human Bombers Vis-à-Vis Brave Dog -- Peter Black

The news that broke last week about bomb blasts, detonated near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon, was a reminder that danger can lurk anywhere, and that such despicable deeds don’t only happen across the seas in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. 

We now know who the alleged perpetrators were; they have been named. One is now dead, while the other – his young brother, is in serious condition in hospital from gunshot wounds. At the time of writing it’s known that several people died – one of them an eight year-old boy, and at least 170 were injured, some suffering loss of limb.

Source: National Post
Regardless of what motivated the perpetrators, the actions were products of misguided minds and darkened hearts. The determination of the mind involves the function of the brain. The brain is a physical organ. Neuroscientists and psychologists, philosophers and theologians all seek to understand the nature of and relationship between brain and mind; between body (biological) and mind (psychical).

However, the biblical writers spoke of the heart. That is, the heart – not so much the physical pump that circulates blood through our bodies, but – as the core of our spiritual being that influences our mind and will, ultimately affecting our mental
Source: National Post
processes and resulting actions. 

The writer of the proverbs instructs his son: “. . . the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son . . . pay attention; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:19-23 NIV)

“Guard your heart” – the seat of our affections. How? By giving our minds over to good; to love and embrace what is wholesome and good, and despise and reject what is evil and bad. Who’s to say what’s good or evil? Is one person’s good another’s evil? 

The biblical narratives give examples of both. Through them we learn to distinguish between good and evil, by learning to love. That is, love – not romance; love, not self-interest. Love that seeks the highest good for another and that seeks to do no harm. 
An email I received last week contained a series of photos of a fire truck and a mother dog and her pups (see posted example). The event occurred in Chile. Here’s my adaptation of the captions that told story: 

During an early morning response to a house fire, firefighters were amazed. Amanda, a mother dog, risked her life to save her puppies from the fire . . . She raced in and out of the burning house, depositing her 10 day-old puppies in the safest place she could find – a fire truck! She’d already placed several puppies in one of the truck’s equipment compartments, when an onlooker began photographing. The firefighters were incredulous. They’d never seen a dog this smart or brave!

She’d let no one stop her, dashing back and forth through the open door into the smoke and fire, until all her puppies were safe. However, the firefighters sprayed a little water on her to keep her hair from scorching, as she made those repeated trips. Even so, singeing was evident on her hindquarters, forehead and lower legs.

Once all of her pups were rescued from the blaze, she nursed them, shielding them with her body. Bystanders called an emergency veterinary service. Amanda and her pups were rushed to a hospital. Although one puppy was treated for serious burns and later died, the rest of the family is alive and well, thanks to this heroic mother dog’s bravery. Amazing!

Her heroic treatment and commitment to her puppies’ welfare is a gaze-raiser!

Juxtaposed, these incidents provide stark contrast between evil actions and good actions. 
What a contrast between whatever motivated that mother dog’s action, and whatever motivated the humans who plotted, planned and detonated those bombs at the Boston Marathon. 

Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book."  (Finalist -- Word Alive Press ISBN 1897373-21-X )
His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario.


Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter, I love that you keep to you theme of "raise the gaze." What a heartwarming story of the mother dog. Reasons to raise our gaze are all around us.
Blessings, Rose

Peter Black said...

Thanks Rose.
As one who gravitates to news and current affairs, I have to counteract a tendency towards negativity. Dwelling on such things has a way of shifting the focus downwards, so "raise the gaze" is as much for me as for any who read my humble offerings!

The true gaze-raiser: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." :)

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