When you think of children being locked up in a cinema hall and sending text messages “I love you” to their parents one minute before death, you feel like crying. Social networks are full of grief, despair, anger, search for the ones at fault and advice on how to overcome grief . In some sense, the tragedy in Kemerovo (the fire in a mall) is exactly what Christ warns us about: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell And great was its fall” (Matthew, 7:26-27).
Many different people neglected what they should have done. Someone should have opened the emergency exits and has not done it. Someone should have let the children out of the cinema hall and has not done it. Someone should have instructed the mall staff about what to do in case of the fire – and obviously has not done it. Perhaps someone should have checked the mall’s compliance with fire safety standards but chose to “bargain”. Someone did not want to spend money on a proper fulfilling of the fire safety plan and chose to bribe. Everyone knew about what should have been done and did not do it. And the winds blew, and the fire started, and great was this house’s fall, and many people suffered…
And one should have done exactly what Christ tells us to do – to actively love. To be sympathetic, to love the distant and the strangers and not the close ones and “ours”, and to take care of them.
There is no point in criticizing those who are responsible for this tragedy. It is also what this Chapter says about in verses about the speck and the plank. It is sensible to look at how and where we can show love and responsibility.
Hug those near you. Tell them that you love them. Bring a homeless man in the underpass next to the place you work at a cup of tea from McDonald’s and ask him what his name is and where he is from. Do not look away when you are asked for help – Georgy Velikanov died also because no one helped him to get a homeless man off the rails, although he asked for it. Attend the first-aid courses. Donate blood. Check the emergency exits at the school where your child is studying. Achieve installation of a ramp at your house’s entrance. Forgive your worst enemy. Pray for the penance of those who conduct negligently.
And then if something happens tomorrow, you will stand like a house made of stone. And it is highly likely that the life of close ones depends on you, too.
This article was translated from Russian
by Julia Frolova.