This Past Sunday my Pastor started his sermon talking about the Bystander Effect. He read the Newsweek article below, and talked about how some of us have the bystander effect with church. We come and enjoy the worship, and preaching, then some of us leave only to come back again the next Sunday to enjoy it all over again. But we really don't engage. Some of us don't get involved and volunteer, or some of us don't even engage in an intimate relationship with God. I have to admit, I need to get back to that place I was in serving and in my eagerness to be in his presence. The sermon was an eye opener for alot of people, including myself.
The accident—a 78-year-old man hit by a car and flung into the air—was shocking enough. Worse, was what happened in the minutes that followed: nothing. Traffic continued to drive by and pedestrians apparently ignored the injured man lying in the street. The tape of the May 30 accident in Hartford, Conn., was widely viewed—and discussed. Why did no one help? What was wrong with those people?
It turned out that several bystanders did call 911 immediately after the accident. Still, the image that lingered was of cold-hearted indifference.
As Pastor read this article, I burst into tears. I couldn't stop myself. The article was almost identical word for word what my husband experienced almost 5 years to the day. The car Adam and Bernie were driving in was hit by a drunk driver on June 18, 2003 as they were headed to work on I-64 in Louisville, Ky. The car flipped several times, and Adam and Bernie were ejected from the car. Adam said that when he came too, he was standing in the middle of the median. He looked for Bernie who was laying in the middle of the road, and Adam saw cars that just kept driving by. He ran and tried to flag cars down asking for help, but they kept going. So Adam carried Bernie to the side of the road and waiting for help. Bernie died later that morning. The driver of the other car, a 24 year old, his blood test came back with a .12 reading, and the test was taken 8 hours after the accident. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter, and was released 6 months later. Just as in the article, people did call 911 and people did stop to help. But the images that are so vivid in Adam's mind are the cars that kept driving by. We are so thankful to those people that stopped to help, and those that stopped on the interstate to pray.
June 18th is a day that doesn't go by unnoticed in our home. It is a day to remember a friend that Adam lost. A day that really changed us. We remember June 18th when we hear of a Hit and Run on the news, or an accident caused by a drunk driver. We remember June 18th when we think of Bernie and his family. We remember June 18th when we see the scars that Adam has, or as an article is read. We remember not to dwell in the past, it was a hard day that was full of heartache, and loss. But we remember, and I blog to bring awareness. So that you can see what Driving drunk can do to a person and a family. It can take a life, and the victims deal with it every time they are reminded of it, not just when it happens. We remember to realized how thankful we are. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to give you a wake up call. I can't even pretend that I know why June 18th happened, but I do know that God has a plan. Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
My first Blog one year ago. June 18th