by Dina Sleiman
On April 6th, 2012 an F 18 fighter jet careened into an apartment complex shortly after takeoff in my hometown of Virginia Beach.
But as the day stretched on and the rescue workers doused the flames in the building, to everyone's shock and disbelief, no bodies were found--even though the plane crashed on Good Friday morning when school was off and many people had holidays from work--even though 40 apartments were damaged or destroyed. The pilot and co-pilot were both rescued--despite the fact they waited to eject from the plane until about 2 or 3 seconds before it crashed in hopes of getting it under control and preventing a disaster.
Surely there must be some mistake. Surely by morning they would dig bodies out of the rubble.
A community at it's very best.
We have all too many stories of tragedy in our world today, so I think this moment of triumph needs to be savored. As it turned out it was a malfunction in the plane, and the apartment community was in a "crash zone" near the naval base. But to think that everyone survived unscathed is incredible. I wonder how many prayers went up that day. If the pilot or co-pilot cried out to God, "Please Lord, don't let me kill anyone today." I wonder how many residents listened to that still, small voice in their hearts and got out of the way just in time.
Back to me. Although my triggered feelings of fear were valid, they were also misplaced. Both in Lebanon and in Virginia Beach. The scripture I've been meditating on recently is "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind." Our illustrious Gina Welborn has a new saying, "Panic is a wasted emotion."
It's so true.
Can you think of any stories of tragedies turned to triumphs? Do you enjoy stories of tragedies turned to triumph? What fears do you desire to overcome?
Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. She was the Overall Winner in the 2009 Touched by Love contest for unpublished authors. Her first novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing has just released. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/