Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a true hero who refused to let thoughts of his own personal safety trump the safety of others who may have been helpless. Dane Ray Cummings has been driving the same garbage route in Butte County, CA for the last eight years, and in that time, has gotten to know the people along his route. As the wildfires began encroaching on his county, his boss told him to stop driving the route and flee. However Dane knew that he had many elderly folks on his route and he refused to leave until he swept through one last time to make sure they were safe. It is a good thing he did, because the last house on his route belongs to 93-year-old Margaret Newsum. Margaret only that morning saw on the news that the fires were coming her way, and with a back injury and no family nearby, her only option was to rush outside and try to wave someone down from her porch. Fortunately, the only person swinging through the neighborhood that day was Cummings. Cummings picked her up and they fled together to safety. In what can only be considered a miracle, Cummings’ selfless last minute sweep through his garbage route saved Newsum’s life.
In a life and death situation, how many of us would truly think first of our neighbors before ourselves and our families? The magnitude of what Dane Ray Cummings did cannot be overstated, but it also is exactly what Christians are called to do when they are able. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” God blesses those who consider others more important than themselves. Today, continue to pray for the people affected by the wildfires in California and consider how in your life you can prioritize others over yourself.
“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” – 1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV