Caring -- Boots and Airplanes

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: CARING Illustrated by Boots and Airplanes

The journey this week recognizes recent disasters and the caring actions shown by first responders. One of their greatest traits is they serve without judgement, with unconditional equality and professionalism.  Showing people you care about their well-being can be expressed in many ways.   Two events from my journey demonstrate this:  

Over fifty years ago training to be a U.S Army Infantry Ranger, I went through an 18-hour daily schedule for nine weeks.   While in route from the swamps of north Florida to Fort Benning, GA, our convoy of ten x 21/2-ton trucks stopped on command at the side of the road.  Our Company Commander issued the order: “all troops, take off your boots and socks, lay on your back and point your ‘dogs’ towards the sky!”  He then individually examined and touched every foot, inspecting for blisters.  Blisters on a soldier’s foot is the first indication of pain or infection which can result in compromising combat effectiveness.  I remember this incident because it showed me he cared.

Major (RET) Clyde Schnieder, a friend, shared this example: “During the Korean Conflict I was the aircraft commander of an AC-47 (Gooney Bird), given a medivac mission, to ferry wounded soldiers from South Korea to American hospitals in Japan.  On my first mission, the airplane was loaded to capacity with patients on stretchers/litters.  Contacting the control tower for the necessary permission to ‘take off’, there was a delay.  The Tower: ‘Aren’t you forgetting something?  You have not ‘turned in’ your issue-parachutes.  Regulations require all crew members relinquish their parachutes and turn them into HQ supply on medical-related missions.’ . . . Then I understood. The system had built in care and protection for the helpless soldiers strapped into the evacuation litters. Both crew members and evacuees were on even ground in case of an inflight emergency.”  

A classic example of caring in scripture is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10: 25 – 37. After the lawyer asked Jesus “who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the story of the care given by the Samaritan to the wounded man found on the side of the road — although others had passed by without caring.  Jesus asked the lawyer, “who is the real neighbor in this story?”  When he admitted it was “the one who showed mercy,” Jesus said: “Go and do likewise."  Jesus taught that anybody in need is your neighbor.

Our Lord wants a relationship with you---are you willing to let him care for you?

Jim Lanning -- San Marcos Daily Record,