My heart goes out to those who were on that flight this week that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia due to what is referred to as an uncontained engine failure. My heart also goes out to the family and friends of the passenger who sustained a fatal injury. The description of the events sounds horrific: "oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and passengers said their prayers and braced for impact." "passengers scrambled to save a woman from getting sucked out the window ... the New Mexico mother later died." It was the first domestic flight since 2009 where there was a fatality.
I cannot imagine the state of mind those passengers must have been in during the time it took for the plane to land - which, praise God, it safely did. I'm sure they all thought for sure they were not going to make it.
But, as always, God sent angels. One was a retired nurse who attended to the injured woman. Another was an EMT. And there were many other passengers and flight crew attendants who unselfishly cared for others in need. And, of course, there was the skill and level-headedness of the pilot in a crisis situation. We all know these things were due to the grace of God.
But it all makes you wonder, doesn't it? We know that accidents happen all the time. But somehow an airline accident seems particularly frightening, although logic and statistics tell us that we are all at much greater risk of injury or death from the more routine, everyday occurrences than we are from flying. We understand that.
But it does make you stop and think about what you would have done and how you would have responded if YOU had been on that flight. Would you have remain level-headed? Would you have looked around yourself to see if others needed help? Would you have trusted the Lord to take care of you no matter what happened? Or would you have completely lost your cool?
The truth is that I HOPE I'd remain level-headed, and look around to see how I could help, and trust God to be in control. But I just honestly don't know for sure. What about you?
I'm sure there was a huge celebration and a sense of relief unlike anything you or I can imagine when that plane touched down. People must have felt that they'd been given a second chance at life. And I hope that the experience made them rethink their priorities and determine what really is important in life - and give thanks to God for the opportunity to start over and to make their life truly count for something good and holy. In fact, I hope that we, too, as we ponder our own thoughts related to this event, will also rethink our own priorities and make every day count - exactly as God expects us to. That's my prayer.