Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The Chinaman And The Faceless Super Hero
Leaves falling towards me reminds me of an October night in 1997. I was coming home from a weekend at my daughters house visiting. She was in the back seat with an ear infection screaming murderous shrieks that filled the car like an piano punched with a tuning fork. It was damp and cold outside as we drove down the freeway behind a Taurus carrying one nameless Chinaman. The traffic was clear, so it was moving at a pretty furious pace when the Chinaman was cut off and run off the road into the guard rail that just so happened to be on a bridge that overhang Ford Lake. The guard rail gave way to the car and the Taurus flipped upside down and over the edge of the bridge into the lake. We stopped, I ran out and looked over the edge and saw the car sinking into the water below. No one was struggling to get out. I dove into the lake and swam to the car and looked inside the window, which was now underwater. I expected to see blood, I expected broken glass, I expected a mangled dead guy, I expected to be scarred with this image for the rest of my life. Instead I saw a Chinaman hanging upside down from his seatbelt. He was still, so I knocked on the window trying to rouse him. As I did, he came alive like a zombie fresh after reanimation and looked at me. He was confused and I think in shock, he would not move. I pried the door open and unlatched his seat belt as we sank. I pulled him out. He had no injuries at all, he was not hurt, but he would not try to swim, he nearly killed us both trying to get him to shore. But we made it, by God's grace, we made it. I asked him if he was hurt and he replied by asking me to go back and get his keys out of the car before it totally sank. I respectfully declined as I was not about to be trapped in a sunken car over a set of keys, plus it was freezing in the water. Another guy came running from the freeway after climbing down and asked if we needed help. I left the Chinaman with this new stranger as sirens flashed above. I walked away, got back into my car and drove away. I felt something very cool when I walked away from the crash. I felt good not taking credit for the save, they had this other guy as a witness, so I got to be an anonymous super hero that disappears into the night without a face. A man to make them all wonder. I think this is how Jesus wants us to live our lives. To love others for Christ, not for recognition. Since, I have tried to do random things in secret just for the fun of making people wonder who did it.
I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.