I didn’t think too much about first responders until 911. We watched them abandon thoughts for their own safety. We witnessed them plunge head-long in and out of burning buildings, doing what they were trained and committed to do–save lives.
To me, each of those public servants was living out Philippians 2:3-4
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. NLT.
First responders are selfless. Their interests are solely focused on others. They rush into emergency situations, look around to see what’s happening, then respond unflinchingly with their knowledge and skills to do what their mission calls them to do.
In his Bible study, Experiencing God, Henry Blackabee suggests that, as servants of Christ, we look around to see where God is at work and join Him in His work. That tells me if I’m going to be a first responder, I need to be vigilant. I need to be looking around in all my circumstances. I need to discern folks with needs then meet them, be the first to respond, rather than assume someone else will do it, or tell myself it’s none of my business, or think I don’t have time. I probably won’t save a life, but I might pray with someone, or help an elderly person carry out her groceries.
Christ calls us all to be first responders.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? I John 3:17