Today, I want to offer you a simple parable. I will not be offering my interpretation just yet. However, I would be very appreciative to hear what yours might be. Keep in mind that a parable is a fictional metaphor. A story written for the purpose of demonstrating a moral or a point. Of course, I had to add that definition because based on the first comments, apparently lots of ornery people didn’t know that.

The Parable of the First Responder

Every time there is an accident, disaster, or medical emergency, somebody is always the first to show up. Whether it’s the fire department, an EMT, or a police officer. This person is known as the first responder. It is their duty to begin providing medical assistance and to call proper emergency units to the scene.

Barry was one such police officer who happened upon the scene of a very fresh, but very serious car accident. He pulled up to the wrecked vehicles, and grabbed his police radio. He reported to the dispatcher that there had been an accident, and that he would report back after he’d surveyed the scene. He replaced the radio and exited his squad car.

Several passer-bys had already gathered. Witnesses approached him and started spelling out everything they had seen, who they believed to be at fault, and the general condition of those involved.

He headed toward the wreckage and stopped as the dispatcher came back on the radio asking if further assistance was needed. He looked at the overturned car closest to him. It certainly wasn’t pretty. He looked at the people standing around him. They were watching his every move, ready for action, ready to offer assistance, some seemingly ready to pounce on him if he made a wrong move.

He went back to his car and radioed, “I’m going to see what everybody else thinks. I’ll get back to you.”

He stood listening to the conversations around him. From one woman he heard, If they don’t get an ambulance here soon, that girl is going to die. From others, why is he just standing there? It was true, he needed to call for assistance. The people involved in the wreck were helpless. They were suffering. The situation was not going to better itself.

But then Barry heard an angry man shout, only an idiot would do anything to help these clowns. Let them get themselves out of this mess, they got themselves into it! Barry stopped, and waited for more chatter from the crowd to tell him that this man was wrong, but nothing happened. Nobody said anything. Those who had desperately been wanting to assist the victims only moments earlier were now silent, stepping back as if they were suddenly scared of something. More people were gathering now. More people were waiting to see how it would all play out.

Barry was desperate to call in for more emergency caregivers, but he was fearful that those standing around would disagree with his choices. He was scared that the masses would get behind the angry man and hate him for doing what he felt was necessary.

Meanwhile, the people in the cars were screaming, bleeding, crying, and desperate.

Hundreds were now gathered. As the crowds grew, the angry man walked up to the smoking jumble of metal and declared it all to be the most ridiculous thing he’d ever seen. What kind of idiot would get themselves into this mess? he demanded of those within earshot.

And, nobody did anything. Nobody said anything.