Herbert Morrison didn’t know the people in the blimp. But he did know that something was way wrong. As LZ 129 Hindenburg tried to dock at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey, it burst into flames and incinerated with 97 people on board. The fire killed 36. It was May 6, 1937.
As Morrison, a radio announcer, watched in horror he blurted the famous line “Oh the humanity!” Morrison could do nothing about the disaster but watch and report and he could hardly compose himself as he watched strangers burn to their death in a giant bag of fire.
Now I don’t think Morrison meant to go deep with his exclamation – I think he was just freaking out. But it is clear Morrison was shocked by the horror of watching precious human life perish. Of the tragedy to the humans (the ‘humanity’) in the blimp. If you have watched death up close you know it is an experience that you can’t clean off with a few nights rest.
Because we are all intrinsically valuable. The life of a human being holds the highest value. Our value is given, not earned. God grants us transcendent value as His children made in His divine image. We are born with the imprint of our Creator and with a heart and a soul. C.S. Lewis said we don’t hang out with mortals, but rather eternal beings destined for a never-ending life. No one is a spare.
The worth of human life should motivate us to love. The seemingly unlovable person in your life is clearly lovable by God Himself and is certainly worthy of our love – especially when it’s difficult. Love that costs something means something. If we will set our default mode (as best we can do that) to realizing the worth of each person then maybe, just maybe, we can give others a taste of the love of Jesus.
The weight of the collective sin on Jesus’ shoulders was incomprehensible. And the victory He achieved is unfathomable. To save countless souls with eternal worth must have created a glorious celebration in the heaven the likes of which we have not experienced. But we will.