I love comments from my blog post readers. Last week, my sister provided more details regarding my roller coaster story from a previous blog post. I added her account to the story in this week's blog post. Her perspective opened a whole new theme about that roller coaster ride that changed all our lives.
Do you like roller coasters?
I did when I was a kid.
My parents took us 4 children to Coney Island, an amusement park near Cincinnati. When we walked up to the roller coaster, we insisted my Dad take us. My Dad relented and we lined up to ride. My Dad was apprehensive. We giggled with excitement.
When we got to the operator, there was a life-sized cutout of a cartoon character that was slightly bigger than me. That was the problem. I was deemed too short to ride. My siblings all passed.
Disappointed, I turned back and sullenly walked back to where Mom was waiting at the ride exit.
"I never get to have ANY fun."
I couldn't see my Dad and siblings during the ride. All I heard was the rumbling carts as they zipped by like speeding trains.
At last, I spotted Dad and my siblings coming down the exit lane.
Dad was white as a sheet.
This is my sister's account of that life-changing roller coaster ride:
"Dad and our oldest brother were in one car. My other brother and I were in the car in front of them. Back in the early days of roller coaster history, there were no seatbelts - only a one- size fits all lap bar. I was on the inside and my little brother was on my right side. He was next to that opening where riders enter and exit.
As we zipped through the ups-and-downs, twists-and-turns, I clearly remember the bar lifting up with centrifugal force. My bottom was rising away from the rollercoaster seat and being short, my feet were barely touching the floor of the car. Scared #!!!##, I grasped the bar as hard as I could, as if my life depended on it (which it did).
My brother, however, was in an even worse, more perilous condition. He was sliding towards and starting to fly out of the side of the car. Dad started yelling at me with an increasingly panicked and louder voice. He kept repeating, "Hold On to Your Brother, Hold On to Him, Keep the Bar Down!"
How could I hold onto him when I could barely hold on myself? I was terrified to let go of the bar, fearing I'd fly out. Dad's pleas continued.
What do you do when you are called to save someone else, when you, yourself lack the control and stability required?
This is one of my early memories of prayer. To every repetition of Dad's "Hold On" I was refraining "Oh God, Oh my God..." I slowly slid my white- knuckled hands closer to my brother, closer to the exit space. When I got closer to him, Dad pleaded for me to grab his pants belt loop.
What a moment that was! A true Leap of Faith. As my right hand let go of the bar, the bar lifted. My feet left the floor as I reached out to my brother. We held on like two flags blowing in the wind secured by three hands on a pole, a belt loop and a prayer.
I have never liked rollercoasters since then.
Alas, this post isn't about the dangers of roller coasters.
This post is about Leaps of Faith.
The Leap of Faith you have when you put yourself at risk to serve or even save someone else. This is a moment when considering Pro's and Con's on a spreadsheet does not serve. Rational thinking does not serve.
You take one hand off the bar. You reach out. Grasp that pant loop and….
Pray that something bigger than you is at play in this moment.
And maybe. Just maybe. Three hands on a bar, a pant loop and a prayer…
… saves your little brother.
"What do you do when you are called to save someone else, when you, yourself lack the control and stability required?"
If you're the type of person reading this blog, I know EXACTLY what you do.
You reach out your hand.
We need more helping hands in this world than ever before.
You've got this!