St. Joseph Province

Missionaries Of Compassion

“Do as I have done” Jn 13,15


In June of 1999 I had taken my father (76 years old, I was 45 and a sedentary software tester) out for a trip in the Utah west desert. In the early evening on a dirt road to a fossil quarry we hit a rock and punctured our transmission pan. Without fluid, the car came to a stop and we were stranded.

After waiting 24 hours to see if anyone happened by, no one did and I had to hike out because my dad’s medications were going to run out. After 27 miles, suffering from dehydration, hallucinations and extreme soreness, I arrived at the main highway between Delta, Utah and Ely, Nevada.

After all that, I would have still failed my mission had somebody not picked me up. I was still around 50 miles from the nearest town. I was a failure at hitchhiking, and finally decided to lay down and take a rest between the white line and the brush on the side of the road. I don’t know if I fell asleep or not or how much time elapsed, but I soon heard the crunch of wheels pulling off on the other side of the road. A body on the roadbed works better than a thumb, eh?

Someone named Rose from San Diego County took the time to see if that body on the side of the road was still alive. I’d love to thank her. She helped me finish a job that I couldn’t. Sometimes a little help is the difference between success and failure.

Give any credit to Rose for risking a potential roadside bandit to help someone.


Many, in situations like that, would think of the possible risk of a cunning roadside bandit, or of all the possible inconveniences and loss of time; and many other such excuses and ride on like most of the passersby in the “parable of the good Samaritan.” But for Rose the concern for the life of a human being overweighed against all his fears; and her timely action saved two precious lives. There is a yet third category that not only will not lift a finger, but also would discourage others from doing so by constantly asking, “why should you risk yourself? Why should you take the responsibility ?” etc.

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