One day I was driving back to East Lansing from Detroit. I was probably about 22 miles away from Lansing. I had been on the highway for a while as for some reason I had chosen rush hour traffic to make my journey back- ah, but that’s another story. So here I am close to getting home and traffic slows once again. I look over to my left and there in the ditch was a car turned over in flames. Many people had rushed to the accident to help. I pulled over on the shoulder of the freeway just a few feet (maybe 50 I don’t know) from the burning car. I began to pray.
I watched as everyday folks tried to put out the fire with fire extinguishers that they must have had in their cars. There were no police or emergency fire trucks on the scene yet-just a bunch of citizens. A few minutes later about 20 people were trying to lift up the car while others were trying to rescue the trapped driver. They couldn’t pull him out. They lowered the car back and again tried to put out another fire that had apparently started. You could hear the people yelling, “Hold on. It’s gonna be all right. Hang in there. We’ve got you. We’re not going anywhere.”
About 5 minutes or so later, we heard sirens. The police were now on the scene as well as some type of rescue vehicle. By the time they got down to the vehicle, the fires were put out. They joined in with the citizens trying to free the trapped driver. Finally they were able to pull him out after cutting away at the safety belt, part of his clothes and the seat itself. They pulled him out slowly put something around his neck to stabilize it and finally got him on the stretcher. They got him to the emergency vehicle and drove away.
I asked one of the guys (that had been helping) for details of what had happened. He told me that this guy was just driving along and without much warning lost control of his vehicle. He ended up flipping his car over several times and ended up on fire in the ditch between the two stretches of highway. He said they saw him losing control and felt helpless. They knew there was nothing they could do until he actually crashed and they hoped that it wouldn’t be too late then.
Wow. I thought about how many times we witness family, friends, church members, neighbors, co-workers, . . . in the process of losing control of everyday life. How fortunate that man was to have people run to his aide after he had crashed. How fortunate he was to have total strangers risk their life to help save his. How fortunate he was to have people unwilling to give up on him. How fortunate he was to have people sweat, lift, push, pull and exert all their energy for another life. They could have waited for the professionals to get there- you know the ones who are paid to go the extra mile and risk their lives. But they didn’t. Who knew how much time he had left? Who knew what could have happen had they not put out the fires? Amazing acts of love, kindness and selflessness.
Who have you gone the extra mile for lately? Who in your life is seemingly out of control and crashing? Is your first thought, “Oh, someone else can handle that?” Who are you pulling out of the fire? Who are you fighting to save? One day you might be that person who hit a bump in the road and just all of a sudden lose control and find yourself in a ditch. You’d want someone to take out the time and fight for you, wouldn’t you?
So here is my challenge: Find someone to sow some seeds of love and kindness into. It could be to a struggling parent, someone who is grief stricken, a troubled teen, someone overwhelmed with the issues of life- I don’t know. You know who they are. Find them and sow some love- could be a card, could be a personal handwritten letter of encouragement, could be some money or it could just be a hug. Let them know that they are going to make it. Let them know that they don’t have to be defeated. Tell them they are not alone. Extinguish some of their fires. Pull on them. Let them know they don’t have to stay in the spot they are in. Commit to praying for them. Sow the Word of God into their lives. Don’t give up on them. Fight for them. It’s important. People need to know they are not alone. People need to know that someone cares about them. Sometimes it could make all the difference in the world. Are you ready to make a difference? Then make a difference. Be the difference!
Wendy M. Reynolds