Human Flotsam & Jetsam

(Some Metaphysical Musings)

The Truth Sometimes Hurts

(But it Still Sets You Free)

My neighbor from down the hill & I didn't really have to stop and think. We just did. We did what needed doing. Our environment? Hardly. Our genes? I think not. Our upbringing? Probably (I recognize this is environment, but I meant recent environment). Our faith/values/relationship with God? Undoubtedly - in our cases.

The immediate after-effects were quite interesting, from a sociological or psychological point of view. Only a few were really doing anything constructive. Most people were either in shock, or in denial. Many seemed devastated. A scary number were getting drunk as fast as they possibly could. (Fortunately no one could drive anywhere!)

There wasn't any obvious common denominator among those who helped vs those who froke, vs those who even hindered by their reactions. I confess that there's a part of me that would love to able to (truthfully) say, "all the Christians did great, and everyone else fell apart".

The reality is that while the Christians I knew weren't getting drunk or getting in the way, some were in shock, and many of the others were barely coping.

Also, nobody we helped ever reciprocated. Nobody. The one neighbor came, unbidden, to check on us & offer help. The other mentioned the one nearby apartment complex with a good place for us, but he'd been busy helping the guy whose car flipped over. One was a Christian, one was a heathen. No one worried, or even thought, about it at the time.

We didn't offer help because we wanted anything back; I was just surprised that no one offered.

On the other hand, without our asking for anything, over 1/4 of the small church we belonged to showed up the day after, to help us pack & move, and to feed us, clean dishes, make sure we had clean clothes, etc. 26 people (maybe more), over a dozen vehicles. Andre (the friend whose wife & kids were in the car that got hit) even rented a trailer (there were no rental trucks available). They got a suburban family of 4 (complete with overused basement) packed, cleaned up & moved in just a few hours. They brought so much food that it took us a week to eat it. Insurance adjusters were walking over from blocks away to see it - they had never seen anything like it (a few had, in very rural areas or small towns, but never in a big urban area). Both Sharon's and my Dads showed up as well.

A photo of our yard full of people & vehicles even made the paper!

So, yeah, people are people; they do a good job and they fail - including Christians. But the people who are more family to me than some of my blood relatives showed up and took care of us, and that means a lot.


It's fashionable (a word that hardly is, anymore) in many circles today to bash any "traditional faith", especially Christianity. It's fashionable in some Christian circles to think Christians are somehow "better" than others. Both attitudes are bogus, and extremely dangerous.

It never entered any of our minds to stop and consider what the beliefs of anyone needing help might be, the state of their "soul", their political leanings, party affiliation, AMWAY membership, whether they were the NRA, or anything else.

I firmly believe in what, and more importantly, in Whom, I believe. But I also believe that every one of us was made in God's image, and that despite how badly we distort, vandalize, rape, pillage, and ruin that image (and Christians are in no way immune), we are all still due equal respect as human beings.

[OK, I'm off my soap box now.]

Last updated: 21 May 2001

Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514