Thursday, January 04, 2007

There's a hero in all of us

I've realized recently something I love to do almost more than anything in the world - rescue people. Particularly when they're stranded places. This probably sounds odd or overly altruistic or naive, but it's true.

A few weeks ago, late at night, my roommate (who I would fly across the world for in a heartbeat, and might in the next year) was driving to her home an hour away. Not long after she left, her car overheated, and she called me. I immediately offered to pick her up, but she was determined to make it home. After three failed attempts to drive without it overheating, she finally said, "Yes, please come pick me up." I had no hesitation whatsoever. I was eager to help her, to rescue her. It was invigorating. I even offered to drive her home if she'd let me crash at her house, since I knew how badly she just wanted to be home that evening. I felt like I was giving her a special gift that others could have given, but I was the one she called, and I was the one who went.

Recently, this past Friday, you may have heard about all the planes in DFW airport being grounded due to bad weather. My cousin's friend was flying home to Wisconsin, and stuck in this mess, trying to figure out what was going on. After we thought she had things figured out, around 1:30am I received a call from my cousin, "Can my friend come stay with you guys after all?" My family piled into the car and picked up this girl we'd never met. I was slightly more hesitant to go rescue her, but still concerned for her and happy to help.

This eagerness to rescue the stranded doesn't just extend to my friends and their friends. In high school, I would occasionally offer rides to students I didn't know when I saw them walking home in the rain or snow. I was always disappointed when they said "No thanks," and happy the couple of times when they did accept my help.

Maybe Aunt May is right; maybe there is a hero in all of us. Or maybe it's just the rescued longing to be the rescuer in my own, frail human way. Maybe I just want to be needed, to be useful.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) I don't know if I would give my life for one of my friends. Maybe I would, but I've never faced such circumstances. Maybe most of us are asked to lay down our daily lives for our friends. To sacrifice personal time, sleep, and convenience to offer help to loved ones and strangers. Don't ask me to die for you. But baby, if your car won't start, I'm your girl.


Martha Elaine Belden said...

i love this post :)

and i'm glad moments such as these bring you joy

you're a beautiful person, miss kelly... and i can say that with confidence, without ever having met you

Cara said...

aw, kelly, you do give your life for your friends. thank you for that.