I am a Christian. There, we got that over with. Now on to my rant.

I read an article in which Tim Tebow was criticized for praying with the wife and friend of a man who was dying on an airplane. Quotes similar to “get out of the way,” “narcissistic,” and “let modern medicine do its job” were mentioned in the article. Some of these negative comments came from passengers on the plane, while others were people’s responses to the event on social media. Other than the crew and a physician’s assistant mentioned in the article, what did everyone else on the plane do to help? Nothing.

Let’s set Tim Tebow aside. If I’d been in this situation, what would I have done? Would I have the guts to pray out loud? I would have definitely prayed silently. I’d be thankful it wasn’t me or one of my loved ones but does that make me self-centered or narcissistic? Would I try to comfort the spouse? Keep her out of the way so the crew and medical personnel on the plane could do their job? What if she asked me to pray with her?

To the people NOT on the plane. Back off. We don’t know what we’d do in any given situation until we are actually IN that position. Oh, we can dream and pretend and say “Well, if it would have been me, I’d…” but the truth is, we don’t know. How many of us want to be a hero but when countless opportunities arise, we ignore them? Don’t argue – research has shown that to be true. Admittedly, most of this research is done in large cities. Then again, how often have you driven by someone on the side of a country road without stopping to make sure they’re okay?

Now back to Tebow. I fail to see how he was in the way. Maybe he was blocking someone’s view of the drama? How many of us are drawn to events like this? Just ask emergency personnel what happens at the scene of an accident. I’ll be honest, I look and try to piece things together.

Narcissistic? Well, that means doing something to bring attention to oneself, admiring one’s attributes, getting gratification from vanity. It involves bragging. As I understand, he has yet to comment on the situation. He helped with the luggage. He went to the hospital and stayed with the wife and friend. No cameras. Sure, he got recognition for it but none of it came from him and he hasn’t capitalized on it in any way.

While Tebow was praying, modern medicine was doing its job. He wasn’t interfering. He wasn’t jumping between the people doing CPR and the dying man. I don’t care what you believe, there are times when modern medicine isn’t enough and miracles happen. There are things science and doctors CANNOT explain (even though they try).

In a society where we preach freedom of religion, we sure seem to squash anyone who tries, and recently, that resentment seems focused on Christians or Muslims. It’s an attack on faith, on belief, on hope. I don’t care if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, HIndu, or another of the many belief systems in the world! You have the right to believe the way you do. Do I think my way is best? Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t believe it. However, that doesn’t mean I want to force it on you, just like I don’t want you to force yours upon me. I wish I had the guts to pray more openly with people, without the intrusive thoughts that “people are watching and judging me.”

So, in the end, what I’m asking for is tolerance, kindness, and love for your fellow human beings. If every person on this planet would make this a priority, what a world we would have!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Jessica McCaslin

Jessica is a mom who is working outside the home part-time and who is learning to cope with the ever-changing daily challenges of full-time parenthood. She graduated with her Master's degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005, and works with a diverse mental health population. Jessica resides in Central Nebraska with her husband and four children on the family ranch.

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