Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Circus: Disaster

When we went to the Ringling Brothers Circus in April, I took this photo of a group of women who hung from hooks inserted into their hair.  They're called the Human Chandelier.  They twirled and gracefully moved around while hanging high in the air.  We all held our breath and thought, "Ouch!"

During our show, everything went as planned and the entertaining group safely performed their dangerous and, I would think, uncomfortable act.  It was an amazing display of grace and bravery and strong hair.

Only a few weeks after we were amazed by this unique act, these same lovely women met with disaster -- an accident -- in the form of defective equipment.  Just after they began their performance in Rhode Island, a clamp that held the apparatus to the rafters failed and in a horrifying moment, the eight women plunged 35 feet to the floor below.  It was not only the painful impact that caused injury, but a jumble of twisted cables and heavy metal from the support frame fell on top of the helpless women.  Although several of the women were in critical condition, it is believed that they will all survive and recover.

We've all heard the old saying, "Accidents happen."  Yes, indeed they do -- everything from accidently hammering your thumb instead of the nail, to missing a step and falling, to getting a paper cut from an envelope.  Throughout life, little accidents plague us and we get knicks and scrapes, but we get up and in most cases, there's no lasting harm that's done.  But -- then, there are the accidents such as the one that befell these women at the circus, and the car accident last year where a friend of ours lost his leg -- these are the accidents we fear and sometimes lose sleep over at night when our imaginations work overtime.

After a particularly bad week of weather-related tragedies in the form of flood, fire and tornado that destroyed homes and caused dozens of deaths, I commented to a fearful friend, "Well, God is in control and we just have to trust Him to take care of us."  She looked over at me and asked, "And, what if it's not His will for you to be okay?"

That sobered me and I began thinking that, yes, sometimes He allows the worst to happen to us -- like with our Christian friend who lost his leg.  While we all prefer an accident-free, disaster-free life, we should say with Job, "...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" 2:10.

A life on this earth will include accidents and, perhaps even disaster, but God does not want us to live in fear of those times.  Instead, we need to trust our almighty, loving Father who knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.  God has promised, saying, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11.

While that promise does not include an accident-free life, it does assure us that He will be with us through thick and thin and His ultimate plan for us is very, very good.



1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Great ending: "While that promise does not include an accident-free life, it does assure us that He will be with us through thick and thin and His ultimate plan for us is very, very good." Very good post! Thank you.