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 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. … seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge

after the image of its creator.”

Colossians 3:1-3, 9b-10

Sounds of Life

by Rev. Craig Kephart, PPL Board Member


On another in a string of sad days, with a pall of acrid smoke still hanging in the New York City air, volunteer Julie Woodley stood amid the twisted rubble at the base of World Trade Center Building Two. It was fall 2001, and Julie watched intently as rescue workers called for complete silence. “It was both a beautiful and bittersweet thing to watch,” she says in her book, A Wildflower Grows in Brooklyn (Eugene, OR: Resource Publications – Wipf and Stock, 2013, p. 55). 


Julie had been posted a block away from Gound Zero to serve food and drink for police, firefighters, and rescue workers.  But on this particular day their helper group was escorted in, closer to the wreckage. There she found herself stationed between the ridiculous and the sublime: handing out donated soft drinks and McDonald’s fast-food hamburgers to the very skilled professionals who were going about the most serious and significant of life-seeking and, hopefully, life-saving work. “I remember standing there transfixed,” she wrote, “as workers gathered near a place where they hoped for a sign of life. They listened for any kind of sound – knocking on metal, moans or groans, yelling – anything that meant someone was still alive.”

Disasters, accident scenes, and hospital waiting rooms are where we get down to serious praying. Right? Love moves us to invest the energy and passion – almost instinctively – to cry out to Almighty God for mercy, protection, and provision.


That is what PPL asks you to do, please. Listen for sounds of life. And call upon the God of Hope.

Tragic stories abound in our culture: accounts of lives cut short, personhood devalued, and violence seeming to rule the day. Yet while pro-life nurses, physicians, and hospital staff champion life in their medical workplaces, while learned and experienced counselors offer Biblical wisdom for expectant parents, while caring Christian sisters and brothers nurture orphaned children, attend to people with disabilities, and assist the frail elderly, please let the love of God in Christ Jesus inspire you to cry out daily for more signs of life … and for more heroes to be raised up.

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