Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Moments of Reflection

The headline running across Column One of this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer is almost tragic in its jubilation: Joy at mine: 12 are alive.

Of course, that was not to be.

Sad to say how true it is, but it often does take a moment like this to make many of us aware and grateful -- both for those who undertake thankless and punishing work, day in and day out, and, albeit selfishly, that those of us who perform our tasks from much less dangerous venues are able to do so.

When the news came up that most of the trapped miners were alive, they even rang the church bells in the cold West Virginia night to rejoice. Given the added heartbreak of the expectation, we can only imagine how devastating this is for all those who awaited their safe return to the surface.

No matter where you're working from today, say a prayer for the deceased, their families, and all those everywhere -- the miners, police and firefighters, medical staffs, soldiers -- for whom putting their lives and safety at risk on the job is no hypothetical, but a necessity, the daily reality to keep their families clothed, fed and warm and to serve the wider community. That's what real love is.

For all the frustrations and headaches of your own line of work, don't forget how lucky you have it.