Driving by the site on Monday, my business partner commented that it was a good thing Tex-DOT had closed down the east-bound lanes, which was where the steel and concrete ended up crashing to the ground. I replied that it was a good thing the wreckage didn't land amid the traffic on the west-bound lanes, which as tall those cranes were, might easily have occurred.
"I imagine somebody somewhere was praying," I said. "Of course, you're never going to read a headline 'Believer Prays: Twenty People Spared Death.' Not only because most people would disbelieve it, it's just not what they call 'newsworthy' when someone doesn't die."
The impact that God, His Son Jesus Christ and the children of God make on people and events comprise what I would call the Unknown History of the World. Or I should say Mostly Unknown.
The man whose withered hand grew whole before the eyes of a group of stunned onlookers, the woman who was healed of cancer after the doctors had given up all hope, the girl who from birth was legally blind and received her eyesight 20/20, the hopeless heroin addict who was instantaneously freed from his cravings during a Bible class, the driver who "for no reason" paused at a green light when a fraction of a second later a concrete truck blew the red light at high speed (that was Yours Truly), the young man who was healed of the flu overnight when everyone around him (in Uncle Harry Hall, heh) was sick for two solid weeks (that was me too) -- sense-knowledge-bound sceptics can talk about "the law of averages" and "spontaneous remission" all they want -- we know better. We know that it was God through Christ Jesus who delivered us.
But what about when the concrete and steel do end up killing twenty people? Is it because they were "cursed" somehow? I'll never forget an incident, when I first moved to this city. Strolling into the post office to retrieve my mail, as I held the door open for a lady coming out, an ambulance on the street began blazing away with its siren. Instantaneously the lady genuflected ("made the sign of the cross"). Then she kissed her hand, and with a flourish too. "Just to make sure" I suppose.
Being from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where real, live, dyed-in-the-wool Roman Catholic true-believers were as rare as ticks on a prize-winning poodle, I'd never seen that particular brand of superstition before. But knowing about the more-subtle but nonetheless real superstitions that have come to light in my own life during the intervening years, I'm not one to be pointing fingers. Superstition is inherent in what the world calls "human nature," or what God's Word calls "the old man nature."
It was Jesus Christ who, as always, cut straight to the heart of the truth:
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish...
You mean that if I genuflect often enough to find the love of my life, make boatloads of money, never suffer from even a hangnail, have children and grandchildren that adore me, and if I live to be a hundred, I'm still going to "likewise perish"? If you ignore the one who "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (II Timothy 2:10), who is Jesus Christ the Lord, the answer is "yes." Whether we check out peacefully in our sleep at a ripe old age, or exit while walking innocently down the sidewalk when a grand piano falls out of the sky and sounds a perfect "F-flat Major" as it lands on our heads, in the long run there's no difference.
Even the disciples of Jesus Christ displayed this same human tendency toward superstition.
John 9:1-3If you read through the entire record, you'll see that not only did the man born blind receive his eyesight, for the benefit of the remainder of his life here on earth, he also believed on the Son of God and received the most precious gift of all, which is eternal life. A wise man once said, "Man's calamity is God's opportunity." Every human being is born into this world "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1), "having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12) -- a calamity just waiting to happen, genuflect or no genuflect.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
But "God so loved the world," John 3:16 says, "that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." So how does someone "believe in him"? The answer is in Romans:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Well, who has been Lord in your life? Who has been running the show? You have. And what good has it done you? None and less than none. So now you're going to confess him, Jesus, as Lord of your life. You are going to let him run the show. And you are going to believe in your heart the most iron-clad historical event of all history: that God has raised him from the dead .
And you know what? That's it. You're in. You're saved. And when the books are opened on that Great and Notable Day and the Unknown History of the World is made known in every detail, your name will be found to have been, from eternity, etched indelibly in the Book of Life.