His name is John. He’s a ordinary, everyday Houstonian who did something extraordinary that mercifully doesn’t happen everyday. He spent yesterday saving stranded Houstonians. This is a quote from his Facebook page.
…. “Tired, wet, but satisfied. Got 18-20 people, two dogs and three horses. Not sure how much it helped, but glad I was there. Inspiring people out there…..”
Stars in your crown, Sir.
You and volunteers like you, who risk life and limb, not giving a damn about who or what you rescue are the real heroes and most of you did so on your own volition.
I’m physically incapable these days of doing the remarkable things you and countless (and selfless) others have done over the past few days, but I can still write a check and that’s exactly what I did. I donated to the Salvation Army with the expressed, written desire that it go to Houston and surrounding cities and counties. The communities that are home to average woman and men—-the regular Joe’s and Jane’s who volunteered to help rescue people using boats, canoes, anything that would float.
They didn’t stop to ask their wet, scared, stranded fellow citizens who they voted for, they didn’t debate whether transgendered soldiers should serve in the military, if Black Lives Matter moe than any other life. There there was no quibbling about Melania’s choice of footwear, they didn’t stop to ponder the definition of White Supremacy, white male entitlement, the silliness of Third Wave Feminism, the pros and cons of Zionism or some silly pigeon perch disguised as a statue, no queries about a border wall, if Russia colluded with anyone, if Hillary is a narcissistic lesbian criminal, or if Trump is a Nazi xenophobe mentally unfit for they office Of President.
No punches were thrown, just arms outstretched, either reaching up to a boat to get on board, the other reaching out to make that possible. Life saving human contact. A black man holding an Asian baby above water, a white boat driver with grateful black passengers. An Hispanic fireman leading a prism of people to safety.
This is how humanity works.
And with each rescue, it didn’t look as though there was much talking. Silent facial expressions spoke volumes. It was relief on the faces of the rescued and satisfaction on the faces of the rescuers—more lives spared. Like the photo of John’s on his FB page. Tired to be sure, but the most worthy kind of fatigue, because he helped prolong the lives of so many.
It’s written in the Talmud, a central text in mainstream Judaism, “whoever saves a life, is considered as if he saved the world entire….”. Well, today alone John and company saved a galaxy.
Prayers for Texas, specifically Rockport, Houston and countless Southeast Texas communities and western Louisiana which is now feeling Harvey’s relentless wrath.
The rain has stopped, and the water, at least in parts of Houston, is slowly starting to recede. So, for the time being, to John and all the other heroes, first responders, the Humane Society rounding up lost or stray animals—anyone affected by this storm on any level, enjoy the sun that might peak through the clouds today. Feel its warmth, revel in its light, embrace it, but please know it’s also love that’s shining down on you.
Thank you all for being exemplary humans beings.