Here is my submission to this week’s prompt:
Wow–Plane’s on the ground. My cross-country trip has been successful. Next comes the whirlwind of things that have to happen: shuttle, car rental, stop to visit relatives. I keep it brief after the long trip. It’s time to pick up Grandma and head to the resort to check in.
I am settled in and resting while Grandma transforms into the matriarch who will cook for me, feed me, and wash the dishes; she cares for me with love. It’s been over a year or more since we’ve seen each other in person. Physically being there is great; phones are fine, but being so far away from family has a way of taking a toll.
Class reunion: the purpose for this trip. As I prepare to meet the former classmates, a myriad of thoughts run through my mind. Dressed and ready, I head out. I travel southward down the Jersey Shore; my rental is nice but in need of gas now. I turn off the highway to refuel. At the base of the exit there is a traffic light that turns red just before I get there. All is well as the cross traffic flows by.
Suddenly, on the opposite side of the intersection is a fierce crash. Someone blew through a red light and catches an SUV making a left turn. Horrified at the scene just witnessed, I feel time stand still. Cross traffic continues to go by; it seemed like an eternity. I need to help, I thought. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick: the seconds went by. All you have is ten seconds and the light will change; you can render assistance! Green light: I pull to the curb and run over. I find the elderly woman encased in air bags, stunned but not seriously injured; her door is open and she is out of her seatbelt, but the airbags keep her pinned inside. An off-duty state trooper happens onto the scene and immediately takes control of the rescue effort.
Bystanders from the area offer a kitchen knife to cut through the now-deflated bags to aid in freeing this woman. One strap at a time we carve a way for her to be free. She talks to us at this time: “I had the light! I-I-I…was listening to my Gospel CD and then…”
Release. She is free, and begins giving praise to the Lord for sparing her life. At this moment I pray with her too. The experience was overwhelming, and I still had a reunion to attend.
Ambulances arrive and the flurry of activity consumes the scene. I take a back seat and slowly return to my car. I have somewhere to be. I stop for gas and all I can think of is what I just witnessed. I never asked her name or gave her mine.
You have ten seconds to make a difference: Ten seconds to touch someone in profound ways.
The truth of the matter is, every second counts.
Use them well.