Beacons of Light in the Headlines: Tornado Dog and Sewer Pipe Baby

Written by Donald Joy on June 5, 2013

tornado dogIf you’re like me, you’re a news and politics junkie who follows current events with obsessive, hawkish vigilance. Sometimes, the never-ending outrages pouring in make you just shake your head with exasperation, wondering how so much can be so wrong, so often, everywhere.

But certain events are like sudden, brilliant beacons of light and hope in an abyss of darkness and despair.  They remind us that sometimes when all appears to be irredeemably lost, God has other ideas.

In fact, that’s basically the entire message of Christianity:  “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone” (Psalm 118:22, Luke 20:17).

Having troubles, setbacks, discouragement, and rejection in your life?  Disaster and ruin and heartbreak and loss?  If so, don’t necessarily trust your own assessment of the situation, not entirely anyway.  Stay tuned and stay ready.  You might be surprised. 

I know, I know, I’m coming across like Joel Osteen here.  Just zip it and read.      

I’m sure that almost no one reading this missed the wonderful video from the aftermath of one of the recent apocalyptic-scale tornadoes in Oklahoma:  An old lady who had survived was being interviewed by a reporter and camera crew, while standing in the piles of utter wreckage of what had been her home.  

She talked about how she had cradled her dog in her arms as the tornado approached, and she replied to the reporter’s anxious questioning with the paradoxically humble/defiant faith of her decades of Bible-belt, tornado-alley survival.  

Presumably, her poor doggie didn’t make it, because the canine is nowhere to be seen in the frame.  After a minute or so of question-and-answer, suddenly a news crew member exclaims, “The dog!  The dog!”  

Sure enough, just behind where the old lady stands, her little gray dog’s snout has miraculously been spotted wiggling desperately, almost completely buried underneath the pile of rubble.  The injured old lady cries out her dog’s name again and again, and she and a news crew member labor for half a minute or so, struggling to free the pooch from the dark pit, lifting pieces of wreckage from the pile … and lo, the schnauzer slowly emerges, and he appears to be mostly okay.  The woman praises God again and again in her relief and joy, saying He had answered her prayers; first for her own survival, and secondly for that of her dog.

The underdog, which had been buried and thought dead, became the viral subject of the top story of the news.  

A week later, there was the appalling, yet amazing, story out of China – residents of an apartment building heard what they thought were the noises of a baby trapped inside a 3 1/2″ diameter, filthy plastic sewer pipe connected to a dark, dank ceiling corner junction, originating from a bathroom toilet on a floor above.  

The photos and video of the baby’s rescue are like nothing I’d ever seen before; firemen laboring to cut away the section of pipe from the ceiling junction, looking inside to realize that there was in fact a tiny, live human baby stuck inside, and rushing it to a hospital where doctors determinedly raced against the clock to carefully cut open the pipe section and allow the baby boy to wail, and to breathe.  

The baby was successfully removed from the pipe, and despite a skull fracture and severe bruising, is expected to be okay. Donations of diapers, baby clothes, and powdered milk have come pouring in, along with offers to adopt him.  Public outrage has been directed at the mother/parents of the baby, due to the suspicious actions which lead investigators to believe she is culpable.

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Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.