Interrupted Routine

By all accounts it was just another Monday morning . . . at least as normal as Mondays can be.  It was that transition time of the year in September when our grasp on summer is beginning to slip.  Fall was just around the corner, but the smells and sights of fall hadn’t quite begun to replace the warmth of the sun’s rays. On this Monday morning that transition wasn’t too noticeable.  So Brandon Wright jumped on his motorcycle and headed to town.

On this ordinary, routine September morning as Brandon drove down the street near the campus of Utah State University in Logan, Utah, he could not have known how abruptly his life was about to change.  Most of us have heard, at least, some of the story and, no doubt, have seen some of the pictures.

In less than an instance, Brandon spotted a BMW pull out of a parking lot and turn into his lane of traffic.  The problem, of course, was that the driver did not see Brandon and was driving right at him.  To avoid the head-on collision, Brandon laid the motorcycle down.  His reaction may have averted the head-on collision and may have prevented him from being thrown over the car; however, the end result was Brandon under the car, the motorcycle leaking gas, and the collision igniting the gas.  Both the cycle and the front end of the car were on fire . . . and Brandon, he was practically out of sight under the BMW.

What follows is a story of redemption.

By all accounts (at least, those I have heard and read) the bystanders and witnesses to the accident without hesitation, once they realized what had happened, sprang into action.  After one person attempted to lift the burning car off of the cyclist without success, person after person left the sidewalk; left their way to school, work, or home; left their schedule; left their Monday morning routine; and joined in the rescue effort.  As the ad hoc rescue team grew, the car was lifted higher and higher until one of the rescuers was able to grab Brandon by a limb and drag him to safety away from the burning wreckage.

Brandon was taken to a hospital where he was treated and began his recovery.  The rescuers? . . . Well, they just blended back into their Monday morning routines . . . they simply returned to their daily life.  Apparently no need for comment or acclaim or whatever might follow.

This story of redemption is a story of deed, and not of dialogue.

From what I’ve read and seen about this incident, not one bystander did anything but go to the aid of this total stranger.  No belittling comments about the safety issues of riding motorcycles.  No speculations about carelessness, texting, or getting just dues.  No assigning of blame or judgment.  No wondering about whether or not he would have to be rescued again if he survived this one.

As the account of this Monday morning story of redemption crossed my mind, James 5:19-20 surfaced from the recesses of my memory.

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

The Christian life, in this fallen world, is a life of opportunity to participate in redemption stories.  On a daily basis, opportunities to rescue either a fellow member of the human race or a fellow believer in danger of temporal or eternal loss cross our paths.

The story of redemption—whether temporal or eternal— is the story of seeing real needs and bringing real grace.  It is the story of deliverance.  It is the story of judgment averted, not decreed or predicted or questioned.  It is the story of deeds, not simply dialogue.

Let’s get off the sidewalk and into action!

About Charles McLain
I am Chair and Professor of Old Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

2 Responses to Interrupted Routine

  1. Gordon Lovik says:

    Thanks Chuck. A great way to start a cool fall morning before my walk. Greet the gang for us. The great need today are those who will aid the REDEEMER.

    Gordie (SC)

  2. Toby Stevens says:

    Thank you, Dr. McLain.

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