Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Into the Breach

The conclusion to Jesus' story of The Good Samaritan:
"Now which of these three would you say
was a neighbor to the man
who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.
The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy."
Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

This weekend while driving on Interstates, my wife and daughter and I found ourselves detained by several wrecks. Each of us drove an hour at a time, sharing the driving among us. With the first wreck, Victoria was driving. The cars ahead of us hit the brakes all at once and started pulling off on the side of the road. As Victoria followed suit, we saw dust kicked up to the left where I Jeep Cherokee lay on its side tires still spinning, and the U-Haul trailer the Jeep was towing was improbably still upright at the bottom of the steep-sided 10-foot high embankment. Dust and smoke (coming from the overheated catalytic converter on the exposed underside of the Jeep) clogged the air. But what was most noticeable was the rush of people who jumped out of their cars and headed toward the Jeep to lend aid. There was no pause, no hesitation.

I noticed no one was on the phone and called 911. The dispatcher and I spoke for a while as I thankfully found a milepost in sight, then crossed the road to find the driver had been extricated unharmed. He looked fine, and confirmed that he didn't need medical care. The people who stopped to lend aid filtered back to their cars. I finished the 911 call, crossed the Interstate and we were soon back on our way.

It was heartening to see so many people whose first response wasn't to call for someone else to help, or to drive by. The random selection of cars alongside us on that stretch of I-95 in South Carolina all stopped and were ready to do what they could to help someone in need.

On the way home from West Virginia, two more wrecks stopped traffic on I-95. These times we were much further back and could not see who first lent aid. But we saw that those who go into the breach to help others—police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel—were handling the scene. They by professional unflinchingly head into whatever situation exists on the other end of the radio call. In a world where so much seems to go wrong, it was good to see people helping people.

Now if we could just help each other by maintaining a safe distance between one another while driving on the Interstate, then perhaps there would be fewer emergencies to which we must respond. Right?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


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