Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Suspicious illustrations

You know when speakers use an illustration that makes you suspiciously wonder "did that really happen?"

I'm in the middle of filling out an application for support from our church, and one of the questions is to "write briefly about significant events in your life that have impacted you spiritually." One of mine involved hearing a talk by Ron Hutchcraft. I thought "why not see what he's up to these days?" So I googled and found his website. One of the headlines is a new blog post titled "watching him drown", a title which has definite parallels with the talk I heard that impacted me ("Rescue the Dying", from Esther 4 - It might be free somewhere, but if so I couldn't readily find it. Here you can find the mp3 for $1.50). An excerpt of that blog post:

"A 911 call alerted first responders that a man was slowly wading out into San Francisco Bay, inching his way to ending his life there. Soon a group of firefighters - along with a crowd of 75 people - were watching as this desperate man went deeper and deeper, occasionally looking back at the shore. They stood there for an hour.

"And they watched him die. Without anyone making a move to help him. I can only imagine this man looking back at those spectators, wondering if anyone cared if he lived or died. And I wonder how life-changing it might have been if someone had been willing to try to save him. It's all just sickening."

Suspicion raised. I couldn't believe that really happened. So I googled it.

And it is real, and it just happened 8 days ago.

The story on the San Jose Mercury News website, titled "The drowning suicide that shook an island", opens...

"Only two people went into the chilly San Francisco Bay waters Monday to help a suicidal Raymond Zack and neither wore a police or firefighter uniform."

Read the rest of the story here. Then read the rest of Hutchcraft's post, titled "Watching Him Drown".