Jesus the Other Sun

Guiding me along the lighted path…

LEADING ONE OUT OF THE CHAOS

The news of the shooting in the US Navy yard shocked everyone this week. I first learned about it through a

"I will not leave you behind."

Facebook comment, and sought out details on the Internet.  Sometime after, I came across a photograph and story I couldn’t get out of my mind.

A vision-impaired man in the building, one who navigated with the aid of a white cane, heard two shots–then sirens and people running all around him. Normally, others helped him from get where he needed to go because he moved slowly, perhaps taking tentative steps as he negotiated his path.  But at that moment, he found himself completely alone. The article said he “froze.”

I can only imagine the sensory overload that must have been going through his head at that moment–trying to figure the causes of the conflicting and frightening sounds, and where they were coming from. He had to swiftly process the situation–that he was in danger–then seek how and where to save himself when the sounds assaulted him from every direction.  I totally know how paralyzing it is to fend for myself when I’m disoriented. I would have frozen too, or freaked out.

A second man also froze immediately after the two shots. In that instant he apparently not only recognized one of the men in around him as his blind colleague but it also registered that he was alone and then that the man was having difficulty escaping.  He immediately approached his co-worker and said, “I’m not gonna leave you behind. We’re gonna get out of here. This is what we’re gonna do…”  That colleague had the presence of mind to describe the turns and directions while leading them both out of danger.

What a relief it must have been for the blind man to have had someone take charge at that moment! I know from being blindfolded in my mobility and orientation training sessions how terrifying it feels to be disoriented.   I’d wander into danger and shout out in panic to my instructor, Chet. When he took charge and directed me to safety , I felt overwhelming relief. Yet, Chet,  being a hundred percent blind, faced the same dangers I did.

I often wondered how Chet could remain so calm. Just like that man who led his blind colleague out of danger. How could he remain so composed in that situation? I don’t know but, like Chet,  it probably helped that he had something specific to focus on.

All I can say is thank God that He knows our limits and what we can handle.  I don’t know anything about the spiritual lives of either of those men. What I do know about God is that He meets us at our point of need. And the blind man had an urgent need for guidance. Is it a coincidence that a person sized up the situation and met that need?

In the midst of so much loss, I found encouragement that a blind man made it to safety.  Through his story, God spoke to me about my own fears. He  reassured me that He would meet me at the crossroads of my own needs even as I lose more sight.

© Amy L. Bovaird 2013. You have just read “Leading One Out of Chaos.” Please leave a comment.

Watch the video clip HERE:
http://www.wafb.com/story/23453369/navy-yard-worker-helps-blind-man-escape

Leading One Out of the Chaos
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