Passages - January 8, 2009
God’s Love Through Service

By Norman Lee
Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Department
Seeley Lake

This past several weeks emergency responders once again paused to take stock of why they put their lives at risk. On December 17 a volunteer firefighter was killed while providing traffic control for a traffic accident on I-90 near the Idaho border. Our first responders include firefighters, emergency medical personnel, sheriff, police, highway patrol, and search and rescue. Many of these are volunteers, with about two-thirds of our nation’s fire fighters being volunteers.
Why do these citizens volunteer? Some folks think that we are a little strange because we run into burning buildings and treat patients in some very difficult situations. But this group of volunteers expresses God’s love through the unselfish contribution that they provide to their community.
The emergency responders come from many different back grounds, ethnic groups, and religions. But they are all linked together by their common gift of service to our community and by doing so, to the world at large. By serving the community they also express God’s love through their service.
Traumatic incidents have far reaching affects. These effects include not only those on the local departments. This was evident on December 29 when funeral services were held for the fallen firefighter. Despite near blizzard conditions about 45 fire trucks and emergency vehicles escorted the body from the funeral 15 miles to internment.
Representatives from western Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington paid respects to their fallen comrade. Because they recognize we are all linked together by their common gift of service to our community. By serving the community they also express God’s love through their service.
Do we have to join a fire department or be in law enforcement to show God’s love? No. There are many ways in our daily lives that give us the opportunity to serve. Anything from holding a door for someone, volunteering, to simply having a smile on your face. It is our deeds and actions that define who we are.
May the Blessings Be

Norman Lee is a Seeley Lake firefighter/chaplain, member of Missoula Valley Critical Incident Stress Management team, and a minister in Eckankar.

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