Yesterday, while driving home from the grocery store, two police cars came racing toward me on Highway 525. One by one, the cars ahead pulled to the side of the road. This action always touches me. There is solidarity in those moments as we each honor that someone else’s emergency is most important. Rarely is there a driver who refuses.
You might say that driver’s education has trained us, like Pavolov’s dogs, to respond to the blue light stimulus… that we don’t consciously think of others. But who is not moved by this display?
When my father suffered a massive heart attack and I attempted to revive him, I was grateful when the paramedics arrived on the scene. Though they went through the motions of jump starting his heart, there was nothing, really, to be done. But their presence was an island of relief. I thought of this as the wave of cars pulled off of the highway. What parent or child might be in trouble? Whose needs are greater than my own?
And then we all resumed our travels. I drove home and unpacked my groceries… fed the cats… cooked dinner. The moment of remembrance passed. I didn’t dwell on or worry about what emergency had just happened; instead I felt a warmth about the people who populate this island where I live. We shared an opening… an instant that is as poignant as heads bowed in prayer.
Where do you find hope?