Tuesday, April 19, 2016
21 years ago today. One small, untold story.
The man backed his pickup into the parking space and jumped out. Then he went to work.
In the bed of his truck was a gas grill, along with dozens and dozens and dozens of uncooked hamburger patties and hot dogs ready for cooking.
David Lopez, the President of Southwestern Bell Communications, walked out of his building, the one known as One Bell, the one that now houses Oklahoma City University's School of Law, the one - at that moment - with busted windows and traumatized employees, the one on 8th and Harvey, the one down the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the one that would become the Command Center for rescue workers until every last Oklahoman was brought out.
Lopez, having just been knocked out of his chair by the force of the explosion, exited the building and saw the man.
"You can't park here sir," Lopez remembers telling him, a story he recounted to me a few years ago during an interview. A story he used as an example of all the many incredible stories that happened on that day in 1995.
Instead of leaving, that man, who still remains nameless, heated up his grill. He turned to Lopez, who remembered his simple response, "He said, 'We're going to be here awhile and people are going to get hungry.'" Then he went back to cooking.
He was one of thousands who responded on April 19th - 21 years ago today - without direction or authority. Simply to be a good neighbor. To help.
They call it the Oklahoma Standard, this neighbor helping neighbor attribute. May we never lose it. More importantly, may we spread it to every corner of the world we can. And, in so doing, tell them where it comes from: a Savior who loves at all times and inspires us to do the same.