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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9/6/11 Man in the Red Bandana

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-26)

(Below: Welles Crowther as a volunteer firefighter; note red bandanna on helmet; he always carred it with him).

     One of the many stories that came out of the 911 tragedy was of the former volunteer firefighter, Welles Crowther.  His father was a firefighter, and he received his certification as a volunteer firefighter at 18.  He went onto graduate from Boston College, become an equities trader for Sandler ONeill and Partners on the 104th floor of the south of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  When the plane hit the tower, it his on the floor he was on.  He helped people on two different floors find the stairs out.  They recognized him as "the man in the red bandanna."  He was giving instructions, carrying others.  They found his body on March 19 2002 on the makeshift firefighter center on ground level surrounded by many firemen.  He was responsible for rescuing many injured and perhaps hundreds.  Ling Young described herself as dazed and bloody when the young 24 year old said, "I found the stairs, follow me, and only help whom you can help."  She made it to safety.  The young man was buried under the rubble, and over 1,000 attended his funeral at Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack, NY. 
     Christians are called to not look out for their own interests, but to care for the itnerests of others (Phil. 2:3,4).  We are called not to value this life and comfort so much that we cannot help our neighbor in their need.  Rather we are called to deny ourselves and lose our lives in the life of Christ.  Christ continually calls us beyond ourselves to a higher- the highest purpose- for which we were made.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to not crave the addiction to my own comfort.  Help me to give of myself for others. 

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