First responder

Two young boys were playing mini hockey in a hallway at the arena. I watched one of them take a wrist shot with a roll of (hard) plastic hockey tape. He hit the other kid in the lip.

He fell over and started to bleed. And cry.

What do you do in a situation like that? It wasn’t the end of the world. But it was still something.

I hesitated. ‘Should I do something?’ I thought. ‘Should I go over there? Or will it all work out fine?’

I decided to go over. I checked out the extent of the bleeding, made sure the shooter apologized for a high wrist shot on a goalie without a mask, and after realizing it was nothing major I sent the boy to his parents to get a Band-Aid.

This isn’t a life-changing story. It’s an everyday occurrence. And I’m obviously no hero. But all of us can think of a hundred situations we’ve been in that are just like that—situations where something goes wrong, and everyone stands around wondering if anyone should do something.

I think you should be the first responder. Relieve yourself of the uncertainty about whether or not you should be the one to do something, and just do it.

Just assume you’re the one to act.

1 John 3:18 says, “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” When we read that, many of us think about big things like fighting homelessness or large-scale systematic injustice. And that’s great.

But what if we also brought that line of thinking into our small, everyday encounters—with people at home, in school, at work, in the gym, or at the rink?

Free yourself from hesitation. And also the temptation to blend in with the crowd. Assume you’re the one to act. The world needs more community not less.

Be a first responder.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Bible quotes are from the New International Version.

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