At the end of October when the apple season was just ending and leaves were still a golden-red I blogged about the high cost of service.
The basis for my post was a story that I described as ” tucked in the back pages of newspapers from various news organizations around the world” about three aid workers who who were kidnapped in Somalia. My friend Pegi had brought the story to my attention. She had a personal connection with the family of one of the people kidnapped and was praying fervently and feeling deeply for this woman and those who loved her. At the time of the story the identities of the three had not been released so they were reduced to “anonymous aid workers” stuck on page three of a newspaper. A day later one of the three was released while two remained in captivity: Jessica Buchanan from America and Paul Thisted from Denmark.
And then the story faded and died, tossed out in the recycling bin with old papers. Yesterday in a dramatic resurrection that took the coveted spot on front pages of newspapers and primetime news networks was the ending to the story. Arriving by helicopter the Navy Seals raided the compound where the two aid workers were held and rescued them, flying them back to their respective homes.
This story made the headlines and rightly so, but beyond the headlines were months of waiting and longing. Beyond the headlines, were families that didn’t even make it to page three of any newspaper, holding out hope that these people who they loved would be released. Three long months of hoping, praying, waiting, and pleading. Three long months of little news where many had forgotten the story existed, but it was still going on.
It got me thinking about all the stories where we hear the beginning, and sometimes the end, but never the middle; those “beyond the headlines” stories. For every headline story of a murder, there are two families beyond whose lives are interrupted with pain – that of the victim and that of the perpetrator. For every headline sex scandal, there is a couple beyond whose marriage is severely compromised and badly in need of healing. For every headline of a sports victory, there are athletes beyond who sweat and train and discipline their bodies.
In a world where bad news floods our inboxes and ear drums, the dramatic ending to the kidnapping is good news. This is a story of bravery and compassion on the part of the aid workers, and skill and courage on the part of the rescuers. It’s also a story of a lot of beyond the headlines prayer, hope and courage. It’s a good story. It’s a story that makes you think about hope and hope fulfilled. It’s a story with an impact that will reach far beyond any headlines.
Bloggers note: You can read the original blog post here
- Navy SEALs Rescue Kidnapping Victims In Somalia (npr.org)
- Navy SEALs rescue aid workers (cnn.com)