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Dia del West; This is Baylor Nation

Tragedy strikes daily. All over the world people are uprooted from their homes, fires rage, and people leave this world too soon. It is easy to become desensitized to it, separated from it.

Then it happens in your own back yard.

We watched the country mourn the events in Boston just days ago, the news headlines rampant with death and injury tolls, video clips appearing all over the internet of the chaos. My heart was sick with the knowledge that such evil exists in people's hearts. There was no one to point a finger at, we could only cry and pick up the pieces.

But mere seconds after the horror struck, there was hope. There was light. There was a response.
There is good in this world.

Through social media we saw inspiring quotes, encouraging words, and reminders that while, yes, evil does exist and innocent people are hurt, love can be found as well. Our nation, our people rose up again to fight back. To help the victims, to give blood, to rally in prayer for Boston. My heart --though hurting-- was warmed.

One of my favorite quotes of the day was tweeted by Bob Goff's "Love Does" account:
We're sad but we're not afraid. Not before; not now.

We have a God who is sovereign. A God who sees and knows and cares and hurts. A God who is bigger than we can imagine and is victorious over the attacks of the evil one. We have a God who heals and can be praised in the storm.

Then last night another tragedy struck. This time not 1,000 miles away but 15 miles north of here.

The word "explosion" was one of the first shared about the incident. My mind raced, my phone went into overdrive, and my heart pounded. Not again. Not another. Not here. A sad realization flooded in when we heard it was a fertilizer plant that had exploded but a new kind of fear and hurt washed over us. These were our people. This was our city. This was unbelievable.

All night a steady stream of sirens could be heard zipping past my apartment down the interstate. Each one a reminder that life is fragile and the unexpected can uproot everything. But I am so thankful to be surrounded by a community that constantly reminds me that we are rooted in Jesus and He stands firm.

Today is Dia del Oso, the Day of the Bear celebration at Baylor. 
Instead of treating today as a campus-wide ditch day or heading to Dallas or Austin for a break from the routine, dozens even hundreds of students deemed today Dia del West and efforts began mere hours after the initial incident.

Once again, there was hope. There was light. There was a response.
There is good in this world.

Prayer rallies have been held across our city and our campus. Supplies have been gathered and donated all morning long. Lines have wrapped around buildings and hospitals while people waited to give blood. Baylor Nation and Waco have risen to the call from our neighbors for help and homes.

This is the community Christ called us into. In Acts 2 we are told of a church family that spent each day together, breaking bread together, giving to each one that has need. This is what we have seen in the past 18 hours. A family, a city, a university coming together to give. To serve. To pray.

Multiple times this week I have been pointed to Psalm 136. In it testimonies of God's faithfulness are listed over and over again, each one followed with "for his steadfast love endures forever." He has been ever-present and ever-faithful for thousands of years. We have every reason to believe that He will continue to be now.

The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day, His love never quits.
Moon and stars and guardians of the night, His love never quits.
Psalm 136: 5-9, The Message

The God who sees, knows, and is all things loves us and sees us in this place. He is honored when we look to Him for help in times of trouble. He is brokenhearted when people choose evil, and He delights when we proclaim His truth of victory. He is in Boston, Massachusetts. He is in West, Texas. He is here.

If you are looking for a way to get involved, Baylor has provided a page with resources of how to give and to find updated news: http://www.baylor.edu/relief/

Whether you are in Waco and hoping to help or reading this states away, please join us in prayers for West. It will be months of rebuilding and restoring this city and there are people who desperately need the peace and love of Christ in this time. Let's be His hands and feet. #prayforWest

God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!
Psalm 136:23-26, The Message


  1. Praying Bailey Jean. My daughter is at Baylor as well. I will be putting the Baylor link letting others know how they can help on my blog and asking some of the others I know who are from Texas to do so as well.

    1. I'm sure your daughter's said this but I am so proud of how Baylor has rallied around West. In just the one day we raised over $60,000.00 for the relief effort! God is faithful in pain.

  2. It's very sad. Everything. Not just here in America but overseas as well. Praying for the world.

    1. It truly is. It would be easy to be discouraged by it all but prayer is powerful and God is faithful.