Goes Against The Grain

Recently, my sister saved a man’s life using CPR. There is nothing unusual about this, after all, she is a registered nurse who heads the trauma department at UAMS. What made this occurrence unique, is that the man whose life she saved was a person who for the last few years had tormented her, tried to destroy her career, and made her life hell. What he did and why is too long a story and not important. What is important is that my sister when she saw him on the floor of her home, unconscious and not breathing, did what she was trained to do — she saved his life.

Now that this life-saving event has happened my sister is having difficulty sleeping and probably suffering with a unique form of PTSD. She wonders why this act of humanity concerns hers so much. I have thought about it and the answer I have come up with is what she did goes against our grain, against our nature. God created us as loving creatures, but somewhere in our soul he put a little kernel in us that causes us to react to our enemies in a negative way. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, but  it isn’t that easy. Her internal system is questioning her spontaneous reaction.

My sister disagrees with my analysis. She says: “I think it is because God keeps using me in this way and I don’t understand why.  It happens all the time… Is it a reminder that we are born to serve, not just our friends, families and patients  but also those we may not agree with or support or like?   If I had not been successful was it because I didn’t try hard enough?  Did I do my best?  Would I do the same thing the next time?    I have analyzed this situation too much……as Paul Harvey says….the rest of the story……”

One of my children came up with a different answer. She says that my sister sees differently. She notices ways to help, where the rest of us don’t see a need, my sister is special in her awareness of her surroundings.

Regardless of why, aren’t we fortunate that there are people like my sister. I am not surprised and proud that my sister reacted in the way she did. I’d like to think we all would. Sometimes we are called to go against the grain, our instinct for revenge and payback, may we all pray that our better angels of our nature win out.

PS: After I wrote the above I learned my sister had done her thing once again. She wrote:

“We were all on the return flight from Colorado to Dallas on Sunday…..when a man in the row in front of me developed acute respiratory distress.   I jumped up to help about the time AA flight attendant asked for a doctor or a nurse to assist.   It is a long story, but my doctor was a Dermatologist ( wonderful human, I might add) who let me make all the decisions.  I flew 2 hours standing up at this middle aged man side, admistering meds, oxygen etc while we got special clearance to fly faster, more direct, with emergency landing etc.   The man would get better for a few minutes and then got worse and lost consciousness closer to landing.   We thought we were going to lose him and have to do CPR in the aisle….but we made it and it was extremely stressful for all on board.  The paramedics rushed him off the plane and all I know is his first name and I will never know if we saved him or if he will die.”

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Thank you for your kind words, my brother. I am so very grateful and blessed to be able to help.
    I also believe Hubbell’s are born with an abundance of empathy. Whether this is innate or learned behavior can be debated. As I read of the immigrants cared for by the citizens of Martha’s Vineyard, I was inspired. What our country needs today is an Empathy Revolution. Compassion for others, in my opinion is can change the world!

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