A nasty video is making the rounds, one I’ve decided not to link to or embed (I suspect many of you have seen it already). It shows an older man being punched out, literally, at a metro station by a punk who then hurriedly catches a train with his callous friends, all of them laughing and carrying on as if nothing evil had just taken place. The disregard for life, the disrespect shown for another human being, shockingly evident. I was sickened by it.
The Anchoress however noticed something that also caught my eye though she saw much more:
I watched one part of it several times, just to study: about 34 seconds into it, we see a young woman walking toward the gathering. As the violence erupts you can see her legs; she is backing up, on her guard, but she never runs in the other direction, as I or many of us might have done. She hangs nearby, and when the carousers rush onto the train, she quickly goes to the victim, ascertains that he is unconscious and immediately dials 9-1-1.
What strikes me is that at no time does she engage the idiot mob; she doesn’t even look up at them. All of her attention is focused where it should be, on another human being who is in need, and she is remarkably centered — I would almost say detached and calm; her hands are not shaking. She gives a sense of being competent and in charge. As the train pulls away, she is still at her task; I can’t tell if another has come to help or if she is still on her own.
It’s a remarkable, dare I call it angelic, moment. While the world is swirling in mad chaos, there is a core of something good.
I wonder if we were meant to see that, — not the violence, but the collected response to it — and if it was meant to reassure us. The Holy Spirit has a way of confounding us — of using the most surprising means and methods to communicate something to us. I wonder if we are meant to notice this, and take stock of our own self-containment — our own availability to that core of goodness that we know certainly exists, but perhaps we have not been tapping into and integrating enough into our selves and our lives.
Maybe this was meant to nudge us to pray more, reach out more, trust more in that core — access it and fortify it within ourselves, because someday one of us may be called upon to be that calm, knowing presence in a senseless whirlwind.
God’s blessings upon that Chicago angel.
And let us pray for everyone in that video.
Amen, Elizabeth… amen.