The brake lights up ahead came on so quickly that it was difficult to get stopped in time. As we crested the hill, we saw that there was now a long line both in front of us and behind us, and we noticed the familiar combination of sirens and lights coming from all sides. We knew that someone was hurt, and probably badly.
So I did what I have always done since I was a small child: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Hail Mary…” As the family finished our prayer with “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen,” I looked at the worried faces on my girls.
We were watching another police car who was darting down the on-ramp to see how he could help, and we started the following conversation:
“We were all just driving down the road today, and we didn’t really think about who was riding in the car next to us. It isn’t someone I know or you know. But now there has been an accident, and you can see all of these people coming from everywhere to help. The people in the cars know to stop and move over and all of this is over the life of a stranger. This is how precious life is!”
So I did what I have always done since I was a small child: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Hail Mary…”
We talked for a while about the “emergency responders” who make it their job to be ready to help at a moment’s notice, and how it is a sign of how important human life is to our community that we make this a priority.
“But we can be emergency responders, too. When we see the flashing lights or see sirens, we can immediately pray for them, like we just did. Imagine if everyone in this line of cars were praying for the people in the accident. Human life is so important, but we’re also praying for their souls.”
There was a long silence, then another emergency vehicle appeared and swept past us. Then my seven -year-old, Leah, called up to the front of the car, “Can we pray again?”
Let’s always remember this special job we have in an emergency to respond with prayer!
(Mandie DeVries, Director of Religious Education)