Thursday, November 5, 2015
Thoughtful About . . . Active Faith
My husband came home one evening a while back with quite a story to tell. He'd met a friend of ours at a local Christian restaurant--a blatantly Christian restaurant, mind you, with a Christian name and which is decorated with nothing but Christian art. They were sitting there having some iced tea on one end of the restaurant, when from the other end came a scream, and an older gentleman began convulsing, falling from his chair. His daughter was crying, "Daddy, don't leave me! Don't leave me!"
David and our friend jumped out of their chairs and rushed over to help.
They were the first ones there. From the complete opposite end of the restaurant, with a couple dozen others between them and this man, and they were the first ones there.
Were they trained in how to help in a medical emergency? Um, no. But they did the best the could, easing him down so he didn't hit his head, making sure his airway was clear. Our friend called for the owner to call 911. David tried to keep the daughter calm, then went out to meet the EMTs. Our friend stayed with the man. Prayed for the man.
One other person in the restaurant came over to help. One.
No one else asked if he was okay. If they could help. No one got up to pray with our friend. David's words were, "They just kept buttering their bread."
How many times have we all heard the story of The Good Samaritan? How many times have we thought, "Well obviously I'd help"?
Yet here was a restaurant full of presumed Christians, and only 3 got off their rears to do something when someone was collapsing on the floor. Part of me thinks I should be angry about this. But mostly, I'm sad.
We're not like some of the people we've seen in those terrible police-shooting videos, where they just stand there filming while someone's shot or beaten, even cheering them on. But even if we want to help, too often we don't. Why?
Because the church is so afraid. And the people are rendered paralyzed. Maybe people think they'll get in trouble if they try to help but don't know how--if that's so, let me assure you that there are Good Samaritan laws protecting you. Maybe those people had thought, "Well someone's already up..." But haven't they also heard "Where two or three are gathered in My name...?"
No, we're not comfortable with the idea of helping in a situation where we're not qualified. But so often in a situation like that, no one is qualified. What then? Does God expect us to just sit back? No. I daresay the Good Samaritan wasn't a board-certified physician. But the Lord still expects us to do what we can. And to bombard heaven with our prayers. To put down our bread and butter and storm the gates of heaven on behalf of our brethren.
Sooner or later we'll all probably find ourselves in a situation similar to this one. Not exact, probably, but similar.
A situation where we can either help or not.
Get up or not.
So the question is...what do you do?