Does It Take A Train Wreck To Get Our Attention?

Not sure. But I believe I am. The quote this morning hit front and center, a short statement from someone watching “Trainwreck” in a Lafayette Louisiana movie theatre. Shots fired, 3 people died, including the 59 year old drifter-shooter from Alabama. The quote came from a wounded warrior, a disabled veteran, in how he responded. Went like this:

“She needed help. She was in panic mode, and I tried to keep her relaxed by being calm myself,” he said. “During the moment of it all, I wasn’t thinking anything other than helping her. She was in a bad way.”

What hit me was this: does it always have to be a train wreck to get our response to help? I’m certain. Each of us would do what we could when the circumstance of others is dire. Have a friend who was driving on the Outer Drive north of Chicago. It was rush hour. Well, it always seems like rush hour in Chicago. The friend looked up and saw a teenager standing on the center wall. Then, inexplicably, perhaps for everyone but this young man, he jumped. Right in front of a car. His lifeless body stopped traffic. My friend pulled over behind the driver. They parked. My friend stayed with the driver until the police arrived. Gave his name to the police and said, “Please register me with this for a police review. It was an accident, unavoidable.” At the hearing, according to my friend, family members accused the driver of homicide. My friend, calm as a quiet day, countered the emotion with a calm description. The driver was not charged.

Back to the shooting in Lafayette. I’m sure we would respond and not flee in the face of trouble.


I ask. Does it ALWAYS take a dramatic moment to help others? Can we live with some awareness of where and how others are? Regardless of their situation? This is not a motion for intrusion, but it is for awareness.

Walking my two dogs a couple of weeks ago a neighbor whom I had never seen before looked troubled. She shared that she was, with her husband and daughter moving to Dallas, how difficult it all was. Did what I could to listen and then asked, with no awareness if this would be welcomed, if a prayer would help? She said it would. Saw her the next week and she said, “We’re all doing better. Thanks.”

We live and live. We breathe and breathe. And maybe. Just maybe. Our world will be more than how we are. Maybe it will widen our horizon to regard others…

I wonder even more. Can the caring DNA be put into us…so myopia has no chance? For truth pushing through, the world’s smallest package is the person all wrapped up in the self. Put this way: life is not only about one…about me…or about you.

You think?


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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