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JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME

A favorite literary device of authors, playwrights, and screen writers is that of the hero who shows up just in the nick of time. You’ve read books or seen movies like this. Just when everything seems lost and all hope is gone and disaster is imminent, the hero arrives to save the day.

As thrilling as this is in fiction, it’s even more thrilling when it happens for real. Just ask Mike Robinson. He is a maintenance worker for United Airlines at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. He had just left work and was on his way home, very early in the morning of January 13, when a tire on his car blew out. He lost control of the car, jumped a median and slammed into a ditch, where the car immediately burst into flames. Robinson remembers trying to get his door open, but it was jammed. Then, as flames began to rise around him, he lost consciousness.

Del Wolfgramm is another airport worker who was working in a hangar near where the accident occurred. He just happened to be stepping outside at the very moment the car jumped the median. Seeing the accident, he ran to the car. As the flames engulfed it, Wolfgramm pried the jammed door open and pulled Mike Robinson from certain death.

When he was later interviewed, Robinson called Wolfgramm his hero and said, "He saved my life." And, indeed he did.

When Mike Robinson was in that car, trying desperately to escape the flames that were encircling him, everything must have seemed lost. All hope must have been gone and death must have seemed imminent. And then, out of nowhere, a hero arrived to save the day.

(Scott Gordon, Rescued Man: "I Thank Him With My Life," NBCDFW News (January 14, 2009), available at http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Rescued-ManI-Thank-Him-With-My-Life.html (last visited January 27, 2009). From a sermon by Joe La Rue, "God With Us And For Us" 1/27/2009)

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