This is the Day…Monday
June 29, 2020
Just Doing his Job
Everyone will agree that 2020 will go down as a year we will never forget. It will be the year of the Global Pandemic. It will be the year of renewed civil unrest and debates regarding equal rights for every human being. And hopefully, in just a few months, we will wake up on New Year’s Day 2021 having overcome the trials of 2020.
This year will be remembered in much the same way as we remember September 11, 2001, although it will be for different reasons. For many of us, the images of 9/11 are still vivid and painful. But the tragedy of 9/11 brought us together in many ways and hopefully, the same will happen with the trials of 2020.
With every tragic event or trial which threatens us and our way of living, heroes will often emerge. We may not notice them at the time, but often we can look back and see the true value of the work which was done to save lives and bring hope to the situation. Certainly, there were many heroes after the 9/11 attack, but I want to tell you about just one. His name was Bretagne.
Bretagne was a rescue dog, called to search for survivors in the rubble following the collapse of the twin towers. For eleven days, working twelve-hour shifts, Bretagne climbed over and under the rubble, sniffing for signs of life. Bretagne was just one of nearly 100 search and rescue dogs who scoured Ground Zero for survivors. There was so much dust and debris that, every couple of hours, the dogs would be led off the mountain of debris to have his pads, eyes and nose cleaned.
Certainly, that is enough to call Bretagne and his companion’s heroes. But there is more to the story. There were so few survivors found that dogs like Bretagne would become stressed and discouraged, acting as though they had failed to do their job well. Often rescue workers would hide in the rubble to give dogs like Bretagne the joy of finding a survivor to keep their spirits up. Certainly, Bretagne is a hero.
But Bretagne teaches us another lesson that is even more powerful. You see for Bretagne, doing his job meant finding survivors, at all cost. Bretagne did not care who they were, where they were from, how old they were, what their nationality or heritage was, or any other characteristic. Bretagne was searching for life and for a life to save. That was his job.
It is interesting that Bretagne was the last surviving rescue dog following 9/11. He saved many lives, but just as importantly, he taught us the value of every life. And he did it by just doing his job.
“Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 There are lives all around us buried in the rubble of sin, pain, and sorrow. Sometimes they are hard to see, but they are there. Remember what Bretagne taught us. Our job is to search for life and to help save every life we can.