In this summer of competing contrasts for our attention, what images are you holding onto? We have so many to choose from, ranging from the airplane jumper without a parachute to the raging fires of the California hills. One, to me, sums up everything I hold dear.
It comes from the incredible rains that inundated Endicott City, MD, on the last weekend of July. Before the horrified eyes of residents, their main street became an uncontrollable river. They watched as dozens of cars were swept away, businesses were wiped into oblivion and terrified citizens feIt they were living in a nightmare. A watery Armageddon had engulfed them.
Amidst the swirling waters was a young woman trapped in a car she could not exit. One man tried to wade out to reach her and was knocked to his feet. But then the human spirit rose up. A group of them linked arms, holding each other upright, until there were enough to reach her car door and free her before the car was washed away.
A brother helped by a brother in a human chain. The picture is rooted in my mind. It shows us at our best, when one is not enough, but more can do it. It is everything we have ever learned about humanity and brotherhood and a golden rule. It ranks among the best sermons of this summer.
What’s in your picture file?