When you see a car pass you on the road with a nearly flat tire, do you wave to the driver and tell them? Do you feel compelled to offer up that which you know about another, especially if it involves their safety? A parent warns a child about risky behaviors trying to impart wisdom. A parent may even divert a child away from activities completely, desiring to keep the child safe. What if it becomes obvious that a person…maybe a total stranger… is about to embark on sheer folly. Or worse, what if you see the claymore in their path ahead; they are certain to explode if not warned. What if the danger is persecution? What if they are oppressed and the danger is being captive? Do we speak up? Do we attempt rescue? Do we slyly and sneakily attempt contact? Does the contact comfort? If I were in solitary confinement, would getting a sliver of a note slipped under my cell door bring solace or break my soul?
Regrettably, there are people in danger and jeopardy who elect to stay despite knowing they risk their very sanity, their hearts, their souls…maybe their very existence. What can help? How to help? How to know if they even want help. Helping may incite wrath and make their circumstances worse. It is painful to watch. I think of battered women, broken and shrunken, trying to be inconspicuous and silent. They try desparately to avoid notice to keep peace. They indenture themselves to keep status quo. But at what price?
Sometimes it is best to simply stand sentinel and offer silent support. An escape route exists. To run takes courage, often more courage than staying. Turn toward the beacon of safety. Find refuge among fellow refugees. Bridges never get burned. There is solidarity among refugees that flee oppression. Wings spread, soaring to freedom, one must have faith they have been recognized and their arrival is awaited in the promised land.