Good Samaritans do the right thing

Are you ready in your mind to act instantly to do the right thing should you be called upon to help out in an emergency?

January 17th seemed a normal enough start to a Monday morning for Constable Lane Douglas-Hunt of the Victoria police department as she walked out of a downtown convenience store where she had investigated a complaint about a stolen candy bar. But life can turn in an instant.  Suddenly a mentally unstable man with a taste for violence and a large filet knife launched a vicious, unprovoked attack on the young rookie constable, stabbing her in the neck and then slashing her hands as she attempted to defend herself.

Blair Bates, a local plumber with kickboxing and kung fu training, just happened to be driving by on his way to work. Bates saw the attack, and stood on his breaks pulling over to the curb by the pair now struggling on the sidewalk with the assailant on top slashing away at the severely wounded, weakened police officer. The Canadian Press story quotes the intervening plumber as saying,

“It was just an instant, primal, instinctual reaction, and there was no thought, it was just do… There was no adrenaline, no nothing. I just thought, ‘I have to address this….’ I knew that if I didn’t (help) that she was a goner.

“Within split seconds, he threw all 200 lbs. of his wide-framed body on the attacker, knocking him off the woman as the pair rolled on the ground. He could see she was bleeding profusely from her hands and appeared to be in shock. He dug his knee into the man’s back, slugged his ears several times, and subdued him by saying ‘Buddy, just give me an excuse to kill you.’ The trembling officer flung out her handcuffs and with the help of two more people they restrained him.

“Sgt. Grant Hamilton, spokesman for the Victoria Police, said it was the Good Samaritans’ choice to put themselves in danger. ‘Obviously in this situation we’re very glad they did,’ he said. ‘It’s the right thing to do.’”

In a world when so many just don’t want to get involved, or get out of their comfort zone should someone need their help, the Scriptures have something to say to each of us about our personal accountability when we see others in trouble.  

Don’t give up and be helpless in times of trouble.

Don’t fail to rescue those who are doomed to die.

Don’t say, “I didn’t know it!”

God can read your mind.

He watches each of us and knows our thoughts.

And God will pay us back for what we do (Proverbs 24:10-12, Contemporary English Version).

Helping others doesn’t always require the years of martial arts training or the sheer guts that Blair Bates was able to call upon to help Const. Douglas-Hunt in her time of need. All that you need is a heart willing to love your neighour as yourself.

A few weeks ago I was driving home in Nanaimo with my 13-year-old son when I heard a loud pop. Suddenly, smoke started billowing out obscuring my vision. Quickly pulling over to the curb, I popped the hood only to see the engine engulfed in flames and clouds of dark, foul-smelling smoke. Not having anything more useful in that old car, I got a bit of carpet out of the trunk and tried to beat down the flames while I sent my son running to knock on the neighbours’ doors so see if someone had a fire extinguisher. Fortunately someone was ready and willing to help and I was able to put out the fire and save the car plus a week’s groceries.

The godly principle is that we are to be our brother and sister’s keeper. God himself promises to pay us back for whatever good we do for others. Now that’s a truly win-win proposition. If we taught this truth a little more vigorously in our society, our communities would soon become much better places in which to live. Hats off to our Good Samaritans!