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12/17/2015

To the Survivors...

There is something that happens to an individual when they face down the brink of annihilation.  When one watches body parts disfigure or disappear entirely.  There's something that happens when one faces death, but chooses life.  When someone like this chooses to come back among us, there are wings that sprout, it seems.

I work among burn survivors, like my daughter ZhouLin.  Witnessing her and others face down our planet's most terrifying monsters -- pain, violence, abandonment -- and lie bloody in a hospital bed for weeks and months on end has changed something deep inside me.

I feel like a little girl running back to basecamp from the battlefield -- from human life's most epic battlefield -- slow and clumsy, but with big news....

"There are survivors!," I report.  "They are wounded… They're suffering."

People at base camp stare at me for a second, then go back to what they were doing.

I blink in shock as people continue eating, drinking, being merry.  A few of my little friends mount ponies, and  follow me with our tiny supplies to the battlefield.  They come, they see with their own eyes, we blink in the enormity of what we witness.  We ride back to basecamp on our ponies for more supplies.

Basecamp is becoming a coliseum, people fighting it out over ideology, over sport, over anything they can find.  They make up games so they can beat each other up.... or worse.  They play games of killing each other.

I choke out my news from the battlefield again, louder now, tears dripping down....  

"There are survivors," I yell!  "They are wounded… They are suffering!"

No one hears, no one comes.  I contemplate climbing up a tree, doing something more drastic to get their attention.  But my friends on their ponies are ready with supplies again, so back we go.

We go back to the battlefield, and...  the wounded are helping each other.  No one else has shown up, so with their bloody hands and missing limbs, they do their best to put each other back together again.  

Most of the supplies they need are back at the camp, but no matter.  They are using the Universe's most basic tools -- love, and grit, and prayer -- and they are healing!

There is light shining from their eyes. And I love them.

I choose not to go back to base camp.  Unless base camp chooses to come to us.  

It's among survivors that heaven comes down.

 

Brecken Chinn
November, 2015

 

Watch this 9-minute news story on Alan Breslau, a hero to burn survivors worldwide.

 

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