We watched "16 Blocks" the other night. It was surprisingly ... not-grim. Worth watching. One of the main characters is often consumed with "signs". Indicators that he should or should not be involved in some action or some location. Mostly, he's convinced that everything will work out ok in the end because thats the way HE interprets the signs.

They never get around around to where the "signs" might be coming from. Still, its a novel concept in a modern-day cop-movie. That there might be intervention of some sort at work in our lives. Thats its more than just a series of random coincidences. There might be purpose and ... destiny.

I find that to be a comforting thought. That our lives have purpose. That sometime we might be in exactly the right time at exactly the right moment for a very right reason. Perhaps thats why the following story stuck in my mind.

Several years ago I read a story about an officer that was shot while he was off-duty closing-security for a restaurent. Any time an officer if shot, it pulls at our heart-strings. We can't help but imagine that it might have been us that he was trying to save. In my world, thats what officers do. They save good people from bad people. And sometimes they die in the process.

The officer was sitting near the cashier, behind the lollipop display, of a popular diner. Waiting a few minutes to lock the door as the last stragglers finished their coffee. The two shooters came through the door in a rush, guns drawn. But he wasn't standing in his usual spot yet, and they had to take a moment to look for him. In less than a heartbeat he realized they were looking to kill him, and then they'd kill the witnesses. He didn't have a clear shot, so he stepped into the line of fire. Figuring that he was good enough to get the two of them as he went down. And he did. But he also took a shot straight to the heart.

What really shook me was what happened next. The cashier was calling 911 and the officer on the floor took the phone and after describing quickly what happened, started "talking" to his wife because 911 calls are taped. (Think about that. That would never have occured to me. I wonder how many officers have had to do that)

Meanwhile, across town, a foreign-exchange-doctor was leaving the hospital. His rental car wouldn't start. He was tired and it was late, so he decided to deal with it tomorrow. One of the ambulance-drivers said he'd give him a lift in the ambulance to where the doctor was staying if the doctor didn't mind running an errand with him on the way. So. The doctor was in an amublance on the other side of town when the call came in. And the ambulance was in front of the restaurent.

They swerved into the parking lot and dashed into the building. The doctor took one look at the officer and plunged his hand into the wound. Doing the impossible, and doing it quickly. Something that no doctor had ever done except one, who had seen the same injury twice in a gang-fight outside the ER. And that one doctor? Happened to be on a foreign-exchange-program with a faulty rental car.

So, the officer lived. Sixty seconds either way and it would have been too late. The doctor had to be in EXACTLY that right place at EXACTLY that right time with EXACTLY those right supplies in the ambulance. What are the odds?

Personally, I think the odds are too high to be reasonably calculated. It requires a leap. To believing in purposes and intervention and signs. Odd that I should get philosophical chills from a Bruce Willis movie.


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social bookmarking submission services | 07/17/2012 - 12:51 PM
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