Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Subway Hero

Last week, a man named Wesley Autrey became a hero in New York City when he saved the life of a young man who had a seizure and fell onto the subway tracks before an oncoming train. Here are some thoughts about that:

  • He acted instantly. He turned his two little girls over to a woman standing nearby and leaped onto the tracks to help Cameron Hollopeter, an 18-year-old film student.
  • He had little time to think about it, but obviously, he thought this boy was worth saving at the risk of his own life.
  • It must have been a split-second reaction. He said he tried to help Hollopeter up out of the tracks.
  • When Hollopeter couldn’t get up, Autrey made another split-second decision. The train was getting very close.
  • Autrey smashed himself down on top of Hollopeter and held him down with his head, arms, and legs. The train roared over them, smudging Autrey’s toboggan.
  • Not only could the train have killed them both, but the track was charged with thousands of volts of electricity. Autrey kept the young man from touching the tracks on either side of them.
  • What would I have done in that situation?
  • I think I would have smacked my hand over my mouth and uttered a cry of some sort. Then I probably would have just stood there with my mouth hanging open, watching the train run over Hollopeter. I might have said, “No, no, no!”
  • I’d rather think I would have helped him as Autrey did, but I don’t believe the thought of jumping onto the tracks would have ever entered my mind.
  • What he did shows amazing courage and deep, sincere care and concern for other people. People are always touched by stories of such things.
  • We’re told in the Bible that we should love God with our whole heart, mind, body, and strength and love other people as much as we love ourselves.
  • If we have that kind of love, given by the Holy Spirit, then we would feel great concern for other people. We would be willing to help people—most helping ways don’t (thank God) involve leaping onto train tracks.
  • Somebody asked Autrey if he had any words for other people. He said something like “New Yorkers! If somebody needs help, help ‘em!”

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