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  • Reverend James Squire

A Log In The Eye: A Cautionary Tale

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck in your friend’s eye, and do not see the log in your own eye.”

I am writing this from our home on the Chesapeake. Our neighbors have been great friends.

Paul is a retired architect. Gail is a retired psychologist. They both have been great adventurers. They have sailed their boat over a lot of open water such as to Central America. Recently they flew to Bhutan, a country near India where they hiked to remote sites to fully experience the area.

Gail is a triathlete who has won many races in her age category as a retired person. She trains hard for these races and is very experienced with this kind of challenge. She was about to complete a triathlon a year ago in May when she ran into trouble in the swim part of the competition and was near the finish line. She had trouble swimming. A race official in a kayak made his way to her and sked if she needed assistance. She told him “no” and waved him off. She drowned. Attempts to revive her were made on the beach. She was taken to a hospital where she died a few days later. Friends, family, and neighbors experienced grief and frustration that she should have asked for help when it was offered. Vicki indicated when we are driving to our home that she thinks of Gail when we get close to our place.

Earlier this week I went out for a fast walk or slow run. I am not sure of the category. I do know that I give it everything that I have as I race against my own best times on a particular route. The weather app said that it would be hot, but a cloud cover would come late in the day so off I went. The clouds never came. I am beyond the age of retirement as Gail was as well. I was about twenty yards from the end of the run when I shifted up a gear. I have never had an experience like I had at that point in time. I knew that I was in trouble as my brain said stop but my legs just continued on. I felt like I was driving a car with no brakes. I did manage to get off the road and into the grass where I went down and bounced across the turf like a beach ball. I never lost consciousness. I called Vicki on the cell. She asked where I was and that she would be their soon.

A man in a blue truck stopped and asked if I needed help. I said, “no!” A woman in a car stopped as well, and I waved her on. Another person indicated that there was an EMT down the road. I said, “No!”. Vicki arrived, assessed the scene and went to work helping me to get turned over. I got to my hands and knees. The man in the blue truck really was the modern-day good Samaritan as he came back with a cold bottle of water and expressed his frustration that I wouldn’t take any help. I was able after some time to get into the car to be driven home. It took several days to recover.

We have been taught rugged individualism in our country. Everything has an upside and a downside. At times it is difficult to get the log out of my eye particularly when I saw the speck in Gail’s.

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