By Jennifer Richardson
A couple in Burbank, California were spending the day moving most of their belongings into storage. They were relocating so their apartment could be renovated, and they made trip after trip up and down the elevator with the items that had filled their home.
During one of the journeys onto the street outside, the couple noticed a haphazard pile of toys that seemed out of place on the ground. More toys came flying through the air from somewhere up above, and the couple looked upward.
From a building adjacent to their own, they could see the small arm of a toddler that appeared to be tossing items out of a third floor window. Another child appeared and more toys came raining down.
The couple continued to move their things and eventually made another round toward the moving van with a large mattress. Throwing a glance up at the window where the children had been, the man was horrified to see that one of the children was attempting to crawl out of the open window.
It was a little boy, and he swung his leg out over the window sill to reach for a cable that was attached to the side of the building. Holding their breath the couple watched from below as the boy grasped the cable. Very quickly the boy was hanging from the cable and trying to move his body just the right way to get back on the window sill.
As the boy struggled to make it back inside the window, the couple below sprang into action. She called 911 to report the situation, and he threw the mattress he had been carrying on the pile of toys below the dangling toddler, and prepared to try and catch the child when he fell.
For a breathless forty seconds the boy held on with his tiny fingers, but soon his strength gave out and he dropped from the cable and began the three-story fall to the pavement below.
The man stretched his arms toward the child and snatched him right out of the air just before he would have hit the ground, and used the mattress to break the speed of the death defying tumble.
Amazingly the child was saved. Paramedics were called to the scene and the three year old was examined and found to be in good condition. The parents of the youngster were located and he was returned unharmed into their grateful arms. The parents could not express their appreciation enough to the kind strangers that had stopped to help their son. Without their heroic actions the outcome would surely have been tragic.
The couple who rescued the boy explained that it was incredible that they ended up in just the right spot at just the right time to catch the child, as they had been stuck in the elevator for thirty minutes with their mattress. In fact, the Burbank Fire Department had to be called to rescue them from their elevator predicament.
Chances are great that the time they spent stuck inside the motionless elevator was stressful and seemed to serve no purpose except to cause an interruption in their progress, on a day when they had a great deal to accomplish. But when viewed from a larger perspective, that half hour delay placed them exactly where they needed to be.
How many times do we look around at life’s setbacks, irritations, and challenges and simply get frustrated that we are not able to move at the pace we had planned?
Have you felt the annoyance of a plan gone awry? Have you been caught in traffic, or lost in an unfamiliar place, or delayed by the actions of someone else, or stuck in an elevator? Perhaps those moments are there to teach us that we should take the time to look around for what life has in our path.
Maybe you will learn to be patient and grateful. Maybe you will see something beautiful. Maybe you will avoid something terrible. Maybe you will be able to have a conversation with someone you never would have met. Maybe you will have a priceless moment with a child. Maybe you will save a life.
Whatever your day hands you, look up and around; maybe you are right where you need to be for something miraculous to happen.