The sound of cars crashing could be heard above the sound of the radio and the babbling of my five month old baby in the back seat of my car. I looked toward the sound and saw a shower of glass falling on two cars across the busy street. Without thinking, I parked my car on the shoulder, locked it, and ran across the street.
In the driver’s seat of the car closer to me was a young woman with a gash on her forehead that matched the curve of the steering wheel. I looked around to see who else was there to help. A young man looking dazed and confused walked toward me. I asked him if he was involved in the accident. He said he was not involved, so I told him to call the police and ask for an ambulance. He looked confused. I pointed to the store across the street and told him they had a phone and he should go use it. I turned back to the driver, kept her talking, and prayed for her.
About then another man approached. He had a bloody forehead and was obviously in shock. The other driver. I told him to sit down and stay put.
A few minutes later emergency workers arrived. I left.
When I got back to my car my baby was happily cooing in his car seat. We left and went about our business.
Looking back, if I had thought about what was happening I would have driven by and not stopped to help. I had a baby with me. What was I thinking?
Many days later I was with some friends from church. One of them mentioned seeing me as she drove by the accident. Her response was to pray for the people involved and for me. I credit my calmness in the situation, and the safety of my baby, to God acting on my behalf in part because of my friend praying.
Up to this point in my life, it had seemed obvious to me to pray for those in ugly situations. The lesson for me was that I should respond to every situation with prayer and pray for everyone in the situation. Specifically, I should pray for the people involved, and also for the people providing immediate help, the people who will provide ongoing care, and the many people who will have opportunities to serve and offer grace to people in need.