I must have missed witnessing the moment of collision by about three seconds.
Suddenly the flash of red break lights were everywhere as I screeched my little car down from 70mph to stand-still as fast as I could without skidding.
My heart was already pounding from the adrenaline of having to slam on the breaks in the M25 traffic, but it was the moment I looked left, out from my middle lane position, that my heart then leapt up into my mouth and the words “Oh God, help them” came tumbling out in a cry. There, up on the bank by the hard shoulder lay a car, upside down, with a group of people trapped inside. My car was now directly opposite this scene, but it was what I saw next that will stay with me forever.
As my car crawled past the incident in the flow of traffic that I was surrounded by, I looked up ahead at the vehicles pulling in onto the hard shoulder, some of them nursing injuries from the sudden break, some of them clearly just stopping as the nearest to the scene. One little Citron, packed high with passengers, was the first to pull in and stop, and out from it flew a group of people, my age… student age. I can still picture her now, the girl who was first out the car, running, absolutely tearing up the tarmac towards the wreckage. It caught my breath and still leaves me near tears now. This girl had thrown off any sense of social propriety, any inhibitions were gone, she was just running her legs off to get to the trapped people under the car. This student-aged girl charged up the hard shoulder, against the flow of traffic and I watched her lay hands onto the red coat of the driver under the turned car and begin tugging.
As I moved up the motorway, more people were abandoning their cars on the hard shoulder and racing against the traffic to get to the crash and help, however they could. I couldn’t pull across two lanes for fear of causing more problems so I just started praying out loud in my car for the people caught between life and death in the wreckage. And it got me thinking.
How willing are we to stop our lives in the middle of the flow, pull over and run against the traffic to help save a life?
How willing am I to throw off any public image I might seek to present, in order to sprint, flat-out, in front of everyone, to go to my mates and share the one thing I have of worth to offer them- Jesus, the life-giver himself? How near-death an experience do we need to have, to realise we are dealing with more than a nice set of morals to live by? We are dealing with life or death, wreckage or release, freedom and purpose for our friend’s lives, or the rat race, caught in traffic until the road runs out.
Are you willing to stop the car, run to the wreckage and find the people trapped underneath?
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 8: 38- 39.