Yesterday Susan and I were sitting at a café waiting on our daughter to finish an appointment when I got a call from my Dad in North Carolina. He said, “I just saw that terrible accident in Indianapolis on the national news. I hope you or any folks from your church weren’t in it.” Susan began searching on her phone and quickly found the story and pictures, a tanker carrying over 4,000 gallons of jet fuel exploded on an overpass at the I-70/465 juncture on the east side. Just over seven hours before, we drove through that intersection headed to the airport.
I was struck by the stories of “Good Samaritans” as the article kept calling them; local citizens who saw the truck driver emerge from the crash. He was on fire and needed help. They responded, saving his life while risking their own. Apparently a few moments later another massive explosion occurred but everyone was safe.
One of those Good Samaritans was a young mother who was being driven home from the hospital after having a baby. Her child had to remain in the hospital in neo-natal care. This woman saw the truck driver on fire and said, “I have to do something,” and got out and started running toward him. At the same time another person with a blanket joined her to help put out the flames on the man and get him to safety.
By now you may be reading more complete accounts, but if anything like this occurred it restores my confidence in the goodness of people. So often when I am driving and getting cutoff by other impatient drivers I complain about the lack of courtesy and selfishness of other people. Then you read a story like this.
A few weeks ago I preached on The Good Samaritan in worship. We considered how easy it would have been for this man to consider the many ways Jewish people treated him badly. He could have said, “Let somebody else help.” But instead he demonstrated the kind of love Jesus would have us each emulate: caring for others not based on others’ merit but need.
Its nice when we (and the whole country!) get to see a parable come to life in our own city by God knows who.