The Deadly Plane Crash That Nearly Killed A Sport : NPR.
Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in myself that I don’t stop and think about the pain others might be dealing with. Like right now–the 6th anniversary of my miscarriage is approaching. I keep thinking nothing could be sadder than that.
Then I saw this story this morning. Talk about sad. My miscarriage touched very few lives, and none outside of my circle of family and friends. This plane crash touched families, friends, and fans of a sport. It affected the whole world.
I wasn’t alive when this happened. The crash was 15 years–almost to the day–before I was born. But as a figure skating fan, I knew about it. The entire United States figure skating team–athletes and coaches alike–were on board a plane heading to Prague for the 1961 world championships when the plane crashed. No one survived.
At the time, America was a figure skating powerhouse. Our atheletes were the ones to beat. Great things were expected from this particular team. Their loss was felt deeply. Out of respect for these lives lost, the figure skating world championships were cancelled that year.
In all, this crash claimed 72 lives–the figure skaters, their coaches, family members, skating judges, the crew of the plane, 29 other passengers, and one person on the ground. Fifty years later, they are still missed, still thought about, still the subject of countless “what ifs”.
And perhaps those skaters are in Heaven now, teaching my little one how to skate, spin, and jump across the ice.
- Figure skaters pay tribute to victims of ’61 crash (reuters.com)
Letter to Our President
Dear President Obama,
I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately about the religion you follow. Some say you are a Christian. Some say you are a Muslim. Based on what I have seen and heard of you, I don’t know what to think. Not that it is really any of my business. This is a country founded on religious freedoms. Sure, as a Christ-following woman, I would prefer to know that the leader of my nation follows Him as well. But this is a personal matter.
The most recent thing that I have heard is that you profess to be a Christian. I imagine that would be a hard thing to do in your job—to claim one religion over another. It seems that you risk offending or even alienating a certain portion of the country by being vocal about what you believe. It must be hard to hold fast to any sort of convictions as President of the United States of America. That would claim to be a Christian is a very admirable thing.
It leads me to a few questions, though. Mainly, it makes me want to ask, “Mr. Obama, what does it mean to you to be a Christian?”
As I said, this is a personal matter. It is not a question that I—or anyone else in this world, for that matter—need to hear the answer to. However, it is one that I hope you are able to answer for yourself.
I can tell you what it means to me to be a Christian. It means love. It means seeing opposing views in this world, meeting people who disagree with everything I’ve ever been taught, and loving them anyway. It means reaching out to those in jail or shivering on a street corner and giving them a helping hand. It means seeing someone who has no idea where their next meal will come from and inviting them into my home for dinner. It means having enough compassion for the sick to hold their hands as they struggle for breath, and listen to what they have to say.
Being a Christian means showing kindness to others. It doesn’t mean letting others walk all over me, or just allowing my right to worship God be stomped all over. I can be firm in my determination to worship Christ according to Biblical principles, while still being kind to those who think I should have less freedom to worship. It means I can love God, I can love Christ, and I can show that love to others—with or without the use of words. I prefer to show that love without words. After all, if people can’t see the love of God in my actions, they are not likely to believe me when I talk about that love.
Above all, being a Christian is more than just a lifestyle choice. It’s more than just a few carefully chosen words. Being a Christian is a life-changing experience. It’s not something that I can just claim one day because it sounds good. It’s a change in my heart, a way of living that I know I’d never be happy without. It is total dependence on Jesus Christ for joy and happiness. It is as much a part of who I am as being and American is.
What is it to you?