The moment was transcendent. We experienced something we would never forget.
Those familiar with the Old Testament know the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3. The burning bush was the transformational event in the life of Moses. In that moment, God revealed himself to Moses and declared His plans for Moses. Nothing would ever be the same for him.
The burning bus could have been unspeakably tragic. Yet, by the grace of God and the quick response of students and teachers, no one was hurt. Stuff can be replaced, lives cannot.
Yet, I can’t help but marvel at how God revealed Himself through Tuesday’s events. I saw students choose courage over fear, sharing over selfishness and community over provincialism. Rivals became neighbors.
As instruments were returned, hugs were given and pictures were taken, I overheard one Norman High student say to her Norman North counterparts, “Why does something bad have to happen to bring us together?”
That is the kind of question that stirs our hearts when God is present.
The truth is that tornadoes, bus fires and other bad things aren’t necessary to bring us together. Jesus calls to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
The Apostle Paul said to consider others as more important than yourself. If we committed ourselves to these things, we would experience community at greater and deeper levels on a regular basis.
But, too often, we get caught up in the rivalries and selfishness of life. Bad things are the sobering events that cause us to remember the important things of life, like sharing your flute or your clarinet with a neighbor.
Thank you, Norman High and Norman North bands, for inspiring us through your bus experience. May God use your example to inspire and lead Norman to deeper levels of community and neighborliness. You will never be the same, and neither will we.