Monday, February 4, 2002

We were in our seats, waiting for the curtain to open in this great, family-oriented stage show. I knew it must be show time - the lights went down, and unobtrusively the live band quietly filed into the orchestra pit. Most people were focused on the stage, but I was fascinated by something I saw going on with that band. One woman in the band had the arm of a fellow band member in her arm. She was obviously leading him to his position at the keyboard. I realized with some amazement that the keyboardist was blind. He put on his big headphones and, as the curtain opened, he started playing with all his heart. It was awesome.

Friday, February 1, 2002

We had seen some very painful scenes at Ground Zero in the rubble of the World Trade Center -- firemen, policemen, emergency personnel, combing through the wreckage for their fallen brothers and sisters. Later, pausing for a moment of silent tribute as the remains of one of them was carried out. But at a time when there was talk of reducing the number of workers at the site, we saw a scene that was painful in a different way. Tempers flared in the raw emotions of that moment, and some of those firefighters and police who had been fighting together to save or find people in the rescue and recovery effort were suddenly fighting with one another at Ground Zero.

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

It was a "dream car" for our teenage son - a blue, '66 Ford Mustang. He saved for it...he sold off valuable baseball cards for it - but eventually, he owned it. And it really was a pretty 'hot' car. I actually got to drive it once. Our son needed it driven from Chicago to New Jersey and somehow my wife and I were the lucky winners. And I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to drive. People would pull up next to us on the Interstate just to stare. Some would honk and wave. Folks would come over to check it out and talk to us about it at gas stops. I felt like a celebrity. Actually, the car was the celebrity. But as much as I enjoyed that Mustang, there was one thing I really didn't like about it. I had forgotten what manual steering felt like. And that hot little car was a "bear" to turn! I mean, I felt like a corkscrew by the time I finished wrapping myself around the steering column to make a turn.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

The precision of America's weapons during the war in Afghanistan has been pretty amazing. But even in these days of high-tech efficiency, there are still casualties and fatalities from what's called "friendly fire." In the war on terrorism, one of our most accurate bombs went astray and killed some of our own military. Several days after that tragedy, four of the men injured by that bomb - men who lost some of their comrades - were interviewed. I was struck especially by the comments of their commanding officer. Basically, here's what he said. "I will have my time to cry and grieve for what we've lost, but not now. I have men to lead and a war to win. My feelings will have to wait."

Friday, January 25, 2002

We were all nestled into our tent for the night as the campground fell silent after a busy day. We had zipped each of the kids into their sleeping bag. I had zipped up the tent and tied it securely. My wife and I were all settled into our sleeping bags for a good night's sleep. And then came those words - "I gotta go potty." Great. The bathroom was down the trail and over the hill. So - unzip my sleeping bag, unzip boy's sleeping bag, put on shoes, unzip the tent, untie the flaps - oh, and be sure you've got your lantern, Dad. Father and son make their way through the real dark darkness of the campground. They can't see the bathroom - but, thanks to the light of their lantern, they make it to their goal.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

City Boy here is a lot of fun to watch when he's trying to be Farm Boy. My wife and I were helping out in someone's barn the other night when it happened - the large shadow of something flying over our heads. I hadn't seen the creatures yet - all I could see was this massive shadow on the wall. I knew my responsibility as a man - that's right, run for help. Well, no, there was actually no reason to run. When we looked up we saw what was casting those huge, unsettling shadows - some little moths, flying around the little light overhead. The shadow was scary - the reality behind the shadow wasn't very scary at all.

Monday, January 21, 2002

The idea of building a Headquarters as a base for our ministry's mission sounded exciting - and very overwhelming. It took amazing financial miracles and the help of people who know so much more than I do. I did some building with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs when I was little, but that experience did not prepare me adequately for the first real building project of my life. An architect drew the blueprint for what we needed the Headquarters to be, and that was great. But there I stood with this very big and detailed drawing - having no idea of where to start with what was on that paper. Thank God for the contractor that He brought into our lives! He knew what to do!

My friend Nathan was on the 61st floor of Tower Two that September day when a hijacked jetliner flew into the World Trade Center. I interviewed him recently for our youth broadcast, RealTime, and I was deeply moved by the story Nathan told. He was coming out of the restroom when he remembers seeing a piece of burning paper float by the window. That was his first hint of the horror that was to follow. As people began to realize they might be in danger, they did what my friend did - they headed for the stairwell. Nathan's account took me into those stairwells, ultimately jammed with screaming people -- through the terror of first the smoke starting to fill the stairwell and then the quake when a plane hit their building.

Our friend finally made it to the soot-covered lobby - and that's where he saw the faces he says he'll never forget. He told me, "I started seeing some of the rescue workers for the first time heading toward the stairwells and directing us out. You can still remember the looks on some of those people's faces - looking just as scared as I was, I'm sure. They are some of the people that helped save my life - and never made it out themselves."

For several years, our offices were located on the third floor of an old factory building. An alley ran behind our building, and there was an antique elevator that was useful if you had to transport things to that third floor. If you parked back there, you had to walk by this big old electrical thing that was surrounded by a chain link fence - with a sign that had these words in big print: "High voltage. Do not touch." I never knew anybody who disregarded those instructions.

Monday, January 14, 2002

If you're a photographer, you love seagulls. They soar so gracefully, almost like they're posing for the camera. They're beautiful - when they're alone. When they're together, they are not so beautiful. One gets on a perch, another comes to knock him off. One gets some food, others attack him for it. Scientists put a red band on the leg of one seagull to find out what happened, and he was pecked to death by the other gulls because he had something they didn't. Now contrast that with those Canada Geese some of us see migrating in the Spring and the Fall. They do everything together. Studies show that those geese almost always travel together, usually in those familiar V-formations. They rotate who's in front so one bird doesn't wear out. Now, if one Canada goose is injured and can't go on, another goose will stay with him until he's ready to join another flock - they're never left alone. The scientists even believe that the honking that we hear is actually the geese cheerleading for each other - "Honk! You can make it!" "Honk! Mexico or bust!"

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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