TRUCKEE, Calif. — Miracles? Really now! Well, here’s one to consider. Remember the whole Batman tragedy in Colorado; how can we forget? Turns out one of the victims was shot right through the nose, and then right through the brain. You’re thinking, she’s one of the 12 who died, right, or at least she’s in a vegetative state. Wrong you are, Matinee Lady. Turns out she has a rare brain abnormality with a narrow channel right through her brain, previously unknown to her, that allowed the bullet to pass right through. A silly millimeter here or there and all bets are off, major damage or death. But as it is, she’ll escape the Joker’s malevolence largely unscathed, according to her pastor. I’m sorry, but that just passes beyond the realm of plausibility in my book, even to the miraculous.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” So Jesus challenged us with the whole idea of sacrificial love, just before He went to the cross. And we’re thinking, that doesn’t really apply to us, does it? Consider how many men in the theater that night in Colorado, in a split second, shielded their loved ones with their own bodies only to pay the ultimate price and answer in reality the challenge Jesus gave us. Greater love! How about the young lady who held her fingers to her friends blown out carotid artery, while still under fire, and ultimately carried her across two parking lots to an ambulance to save her life. Greater love! Jesus didn’t give us a mission impossible with His “Greater love” challenge. He’s telling us about our potential as transformed creatures. After all, we are His workmanship, His masterpiece, His work of art, created in Christ Jesus for good works, that we should walk in them. What should we expect? Well, of course, Greater love, and nothing less!
Amanda Lindgren said of Alex Teves, “He was my angel that night, but he was my angel every day I knew him. I’m broken … When someone loves you that much and you love somebody that much … how do you believe that this is real?” Julie Vojtsek also shared, “John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me. I feel very strongly that I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness.”
We strain to understand why the nobility of incredible heroism is often known only in moments of madness and heartbreaking catastrophe. We always seem to have a Joker, a Judas, a Charlie Manson, dictators and fiends of every variety. It’s part of life after the garden, when we were given the freedom to choose the love of God, or the incredible darkness of self and separation. But eternity is a long time, and someone promised to make it all right. “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice.” We are promised that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” We may not understand it in this blink of an eye we call life, but eternity is a long time. Then, “We shall know perfectly, even as we are perfectly known.”
Isn’t it the irony of ironies that a group of people go to see a movie about a Super-Hero, only to emotionally and graphically realize the real hero was setting right beside them? And these very heroes echo so beautifully the behavior of the One who so passionately demonstrated His love for all of us on a Roman cross.
— Randy Allen is a Sierra Sun columnist, worship musician, and Bible teacher. He’s lived in Truckee for 30 years.