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Pregnant mother set to marry is murdered

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Vindalee Smith (Credit: New York Daily News)

Jordanian authorities are reporting that they have foiled a “major terrorist plot” targeting shopping centers, residential buildings, and diplomats.  Meanwhile, thousands of mourners gathered yesterday in Beirut, Lebanon for the funeral of their police intelligence chief, who died in a car bomb on Friday.

Contrast your reaction upon reading these international stories with this: Vindalee Smith, a pregnant mother of four, was killed in her New York City apartment on Friday, the day before her wedding.  Her unborn child did not survive.  Three people were killed and four others wounded at a spa outside Milwaukee yesterday.  The day before, a man in Inglewood, California opened fire on his neighbors.  A father who was trying to shield his children was found dead; his four-year-old son was shot in the head and killed.

Why do tragedies closer to home impact us more than those that occur abroad?

As the presidential candidates prepare for their debate tonight on foreign policy, are you more interested in their plans for other nations or the impact of those plans on America?  It’s natural, of course, to be more concerned about security at home than safety abroad.  But the distance between the two is shrinking more each year.

Al Qaeda’s influence inspired the terrorist plot in Jordan.  But it also moved a college student in America to target the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City last week.  The Lebanese police chief’s death is being blamed on unrest generated by conflict in neighboring Syria.  However, conflict on our Mexican border has claimed more than 100 American lives in recent years.  Further violence erupted yesterday in Syria, but the safety of our own homes and workplaces is not guaranteed.

Two life principles follow.  One: Christians should be more burdened for the world than ever before.  Every person who dies in Syria today is someone created by our Father, a soul for whom Jesus died.  There is no distinction between America and Jordan in his heart.  He wants us to intercede for all nations as we read the news on our knees.

Two: We have only today to serve the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16).  The tragedies we’ve discussed this morning prove the frailty of life.  A few days ago I ran around White Rock Lake in Dallas, one of my favorite jogging trails.  There I remembered a statement someone once wrote in chalk on the pathway: “This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.”  The chalk is now gone, but the truth it proclaimed remains.

Our bodies are the chalk with which we write on the pathways of life.  When the rain washes yours away, what legacy will you have left today?