Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Punk Samaritan

I have been thinking to write about this post for over two months. And finally I am able to put this on writing today. I hope it says something to you.

Maastricht, end of January 2013. I am not sure if it was the 19th or the 26th, but it happened after Gereja Misi Indonesia Maastricht anniversary. I was supposed to ride with Om Rene and Tante Chrysant to get to their place and wait for the carpool to Eindhoven. Matheus, my man, got in our car as well.

It was around 8 PM, a few hundred meters after we entered the highway, the engine of the car started going down. Decelerating, the car could not make it to the shoulder of the road. When we turned back, we also realized that we were right after the entrance passage of the highway. Cars passed us by in high speed. Some were also very shocked seeing a car, not moving, blocking their way.

Inside the car, I prayed so hard hoping that those who come out of the highway entry turn, could see us, slow down, and proceed to their journey safely. Tante Chrysant and Om Rene were busy looking for ANWB's number (ANWB's are the emergency roadside assistance in the Netherlands), Matheus braved himself to go out of the car, carried only a mobile phone, and tried to direct the traffic behind.

It took the ANWB a long time to be able to locate us. It almost seemed that we were invisible. Probably, because we were in the highway and we had no GPS with us. Shortly, they were on the way, but the time they took to get to us felt so long since our car was still blocking the way of others and the tail lights were slowly turned off. The car's battery ran out of power eventually. At that moment, every passing car that did not hit us felt like a blessing.

It was dark and cold winter, especially with the razor-felt wind that was cutting through my face. Om Rene had ordered everyone to go out of the car in case something bad happened. Before long, a car stopped, it was not ANWB, it was a guy and a girl in their 20s, punk-like, and smoked so hard who first offered us help. They suggested that we should move the car to the shoulder of the road and also asks if we have the emergency triangle in our car.

After some searching, they could not find anything in our car. We did not know if we have that kind of tools, since it was a rental car, Om Renee's car was broken, and the car that was lent to him by the rental place was, in fact, still broken. Seeing that there was nothing else that they could do there, they leave us.

We kept waiting like lost children beside the road.

Strangely, the ANWB took very long time to come. These two kind punks made it to us once again. They even brought a rope for towing and the police light stick. With the police light stick, cars could better see our car from afar. In the mean time, the others try to tie our car with their car. They were going to tow it to a safer place.

In the end, they succeed to bring us to the closest fire department station and there, ANWB could find us easily.

I have learned from this thrilling experience that people still believe in goodness. Yes, I see, many crimes and evil in today's world, but it does not mean that the good has lost. It is in many people's heart. Even though their look or their acts say that I don't care about what's happening in this forsaken world, but some really stop and offer a hand to those in need. And some even go for the extra miles to save people.

How do we react to people's need today? Do we let it pass by, like many other cars that passed by our car that night, without even hitting their brake pedal for a little bit? Or, do we stop, step out of our car, and offer them some help, like what the Punks did to us?

At times, I acknowledge that I do not act like the kind Samaritan. When somebody ask for a direction, I did not bother to stop, take out my Blackberry, and help her locate their destination with my GPS. I struggle with this kindness issue. But I believe, it is not too late for me to change and make the world a better place. Are you ready to fill this world kindness? I think, if we move together, we could make a wave of kindness. And this world won't feel so hopeless that much.

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