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Last June, the city of Alameda, California immediately changed its policies after its first responders stood by and watched a man drown in the San Francisco Bay. The first responders didn’t venture out into the muddy waters of the bay, even as the man started treading water and then eventually went under.

According to the Fire Chief, two things prevented the authorities from taking action: First, because it was a crime scene (the man was trying to commit suicide), the police "felt that going into the water initially might not be the best idea because they were unsure if this individual was armed." Second, the chief said, "There was a policy in place that pretty much stopped our people from entering the water."

Local officials also noted that due to a lack of funding, firefighters had no one properly trained to go into the water. The Alameda Police Chief was also quoted to say, "It’s muddy out there. We don’t want [the police officers] sinking. We don’t want them in distress."

Last June, in the city of Alameda, California first responders watched a man who had decided to commit suicide in the San Francisco Bay. Apparently, he changed his mind for as they watched, he began to tread water. Their interpretation of the law would not allow them to save the man. Eventually his body became so tired that he went under.

By the grace of God, their policies were changed only a few days after this horrifying incident. What policies do we need to change in our hearts and minds in order to better follow Christ and do His will?

(From a sermon by Kenneth Sauer, "A New Way of Understaning Who God Is" 6/21/2012)

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