Friends ~ I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging when my dear grandfather became ill a few months ago so that I could turn my focus to my family. We somehow managed to chuckle through the hard days and are grateful that he is hanging out with Jesus now. I hope you will continue to chuckle with me.
Oh, and as you read this blog, know that my brother and I laughed hysterically about this.
The snow fell all afternoon and continued into the night. The roads were icy and the snow was swirling when my brother left his office to drive home. It was almost midnight and he had nearly an hour drive but a coworker (we will call him “Friend” from now on) agreed to follow him home. Two things you should know about this situation. One, my brother is a quadriplegic and, two, Friend was born and raised on a tropical island and is terrified of the possibility of being stuck in a blizzard. Got the picture?
The drive was slow and tedious but while they were on the interstate highway, the roads were fairly clear. Eventually, they had to turn off onto a county road that had not been plowed or sanded.
Though they were driving slowly and cautiously, my brother hit a patch of ice and his truck slid off the road and into a ditch. It was after midnight so my brother didn’t have much hope of anyone coming along to help anytime soon. He rolled down his window and hollered at Friend to come get him.
(Since we’ve named the co-worker “Friend” and you are probably tired of reading “my brother,” let’s now rename my brother and just call him “Brother.”)
Brother’s wheelchair was in the bed of his truck and even if he could have gotten it out, the sides of the ditch were too steep so there was no way he could get to the road in his chair. So the plan was to have his physically-less-than-in-shape friend carry him up the hill.
Tropics raised Friend was a bit panicky and debated whether or not to open his snow emergency kit and send up a flare. Brother was trying to figure out how to get out of the ditch – realistically.
Friend decided to wait on sending up a flare and, instead, used the shovel from his emergency kit and started to carve out “stairs’ down to the truck.
Friend carefully made his way down to the truck – sliding most of the way since he didn’t want to wreck the “stairs.” It was then that Friend learned of Brother’s plan. Brother was going to “fall” out of the truck onto Friend’s back and then Friend would piggyback Brother up the hill.
1, 2, 3 Go! Brother did a controlled fall out of his seat onto Friend’s back. Friend took one step and went down flat on his belly – with Brother on his back. Uh, oh! They rolled so that Friend could get up.
Friend tried to grab Brother under the arms and pull him up the hill backwards. That resulted in Friend lying in the snow on his back and Brother on top of him since Friend was not able to move Brother more than a few inches.
Brother tried to scoot backwards up the hill. Fail.
By this time, Brother had been sitting in the snow in thin pants for more than thirty minutes. No cars had passed. Cell phones didn’t have service. Friend was panicked – and short of breath.
Friend had a blanket in his emergency kit and the decision was made to have Brother get on it and Friend would pull him up the hill. After a lot of pulling and tugging, they finally make it out of the ditch and onto the road. Brother lay on the road – soaking wet and cold – while Friend returned to the truck to get the wheelchair.
By the time they loaded up in Friend’s car, it was 1:30 in the morning. They left the truck and Friend took Brother home. They were both safe and sound - and eventually warmed up.
The next day was Sunday so Brother went to church with his family. When they returned to the house, a very upset policeman was waiting.
Brother’s truck had been found that morning and the authorities suspected foul play because it looked like a body had been drug through the snow ~ and the snow around the area indicated a struggle! They suspected an abduction! A serious crime!
Well, a body had been drug through the snow and there had been a struggle - but it wasn’t foul play. A crime had not been committed. Quite the opposite.
Instead of a crime, Friend had committed a selfless and compassionate act - risking his safety and comfort.
Are there times in our relationships that we want to cry “foul play” as if there was a crime committed against us? A harsh tone. A misplaced text. An inattentive ear. A forgotten promise. These are some of the things that might make us think someone doesn’t care for or love us.
But maybe there is a story behind the “evidence.” Maybe the friend or spouse or child is tired or stressed or scared or distracted. Just maybe.
Lord, help me to always think the best of others. Help me to be a selfless, compassionate friend/mother/daughter/wife.
Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love. Ephesians 4:2