Although time has proven that you can rarely judge a book by its cover, there used to be some indication given off by a person that all was not well. In the case of the pilot that slammed a planeload of innocents into the terrifying vista of the French Alps on March 24, 2015, not only is he allegedly believed to have done this on purpose, but by most accounts he was an all-around great guy.
Andreas Lubitz, the culprit of this hate crime, was what the world calls a success. He knew early that he wanted to make a career out of flying, and started training soon after graduation from high school. Many of his co-workers, neighbors, and instructors described him as a sometimes quiet, but friendly and popular man. He was admired for persevering and obtaining his goal of becoming a pilot.
But his apparently deliberate actions have many of us questioning what we think we know. No matter how shiny the outside veneer, only God completely knows the heart of men, although we can sometimes catch glimpses of the inner man by the fruit he bears. So despite this young man’s accomplishments and skills, something was terribly wrong. We don’t know at this point what it was, but whatever it was has changed the trajectory of an untold number of lives.
The other 149 people on Germanwings Flight 9525 had their own hopes and dreams brutally and instantaneously, according to the crash site investigators, snatched away. Their families and friends had their lives and hearts changed forever with the loss of their loved ones in such a tragic and senseless way. The randomness of this act is almost unbearable because it highlights the vulnerability of the masses.
What we can do
It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the most important things we can do is continue to pray. Even with all of the horrible things we see in the news, I don’t think we can even begin to imagine that horrors that God may have blocked from the world thus far due to the effective fervent prayers of the righteous. (James 5:16 KJV)
We must watch as well as pray. Even though there may not be obvious signs of mental distress, be ever vigilant regarding subtle changes in behavior or mood swings in co-workers. We often spend more time with co-workers than we do at home, so we can sometimes pick up when they are a little tense.
Finally, continue to live. I saw a quote the other day advising people to live rather than just exist. We must be careful not to chain ourselves inside of ourselves, refusing any interaction with the world because of what might happen. Once you’ve done your due diligence as far as careful preparations and safety precautions, enjoy life for the gift that it is. I thank you.
My prayers and condolences to the loved ones of those lost in the tragic flight of Germanwings 9525.