I heard a story the other day about a woman who was in labour, preparing to give birth to her second child. Her husband got her and their young son packed up, so that the son could be delivered to his grandparents’, and so that the woman could be taken to the hospital to deliver their next child! But there was a problem: this happened earlier this week in Buffalo, New York.
In case you missed it, Buffalo, and other parts of New York state close to the Great Lakes, have been hammered with lake-effect snowfall; Buffalo alone had received more than a metre-and-a-half as of Wednesday, with the promise of more yesterday. The photos have been astounding.
So the trip for this young family to get to grandparents’ and hospital was not exactly routine. In fact, with mom in labour, they actually stopped to help a stranded motorist to get out of her car. They brought her into their vehicle and carried on toward the hospital – difficult though that was, with the roads clogged with snow and trapped vehicles.
Soon it became apparent that the baby wasn’t going to wait for the doctor. That child would make her arrival in the car. So the vehicle was stopped, and they prepared for the delivery – stranger and all!
What if they hadn’t stopped to help the stranded woman? Would they have made it to the hospital? In the end, they knew they did the right thing, because this stranded stranger turned out to be a paediatric nurse who specialized in labour and delivery! She was able to give guidance toward the safe arrival of the family’s newborn little girl. And eventually, they made it to the hospital. All are well.
The man had no idea that he was helping someone who would help him and his wife. He stopped to help because it was the right thing to do, irrespective of the outcome – even though he, if anybody, had a good excuse to avoid stopping.
How often are we “too busy” to stop to help someone in need? What could you do today that would make a difference in someone’s life, even though it might not benefit you in any way?
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7.12, NIV).