Sunday, November 24, 2013

That Time I'm Pretty Sure I Saved a Life, Maybe Even Two....

I don't think I have ever talked about this odd little (maybe NOT so little) incident that happened in my life, right here in this neighborhood, one November exactly 13 years ago. 

I was trying to enjoy sleeping in one morning, but felt strangely drawn to get up. So (according to my trusty journal) I found myself cuddled in a big blanket on my living-room couch at 6am asking God what this was all about. I felt that He wanted to tell me something, to give me some kind of instruction. This was not normal for me, I am not a "got a message from God" kinda person...normally.

The words scribbled in my journal that morning include, "What is it Lord? You are preparing me for something and I want to be ready to obey. But what? "

I closed my eyes and pictured the poor people in my small town. Interesting. Was I supposed to do something for them? I had been reading the book of James in the Bible and was humbled by the instructions to assist the poor, the children and the widows. 

A direct quote from my journal asks, "A children's outreach? Do you want me to help the families through the kids, Lord? Help me God, I'm such a chicken at this stuff. Can I be strong enough to step outside my house and really touch these that need you so much? I am more afraid of doing nothing!"

That day I thought that maybe I should go take a walk and pray for the poor neighborhoods in my town, maybe it would give me some ideas. But I let the plan slip from my mind and the day passed like any other day. And the next and the next went by.

Then four days later the idea to walk and pray was overwhelming, so I got my tennis shoes on and off I went, wondering what in the world was going on. 

Just one block away, I was crossing from one corner to the next when I saw two tiny kids. One was on a trike and the other on a scooter. They were maybe 2 or 3 years old. They were heading as fast as their little legs could take them, toward the main road on the other side of me. They were laughing and looking behind them at a very upset 7 year old who was yelling for them to stop. They thought it was all very funny.

A white van was approaching all of us and I do not think those kids planned to stop, so I grabbed one kid as he headed in front of the van and I remember wondering if the van was going to hit me. Seeing me grab one kid, shocked the other one and she stopped and stared at me. The white van stopped too and then the driver shook her head in relief and continued down the road. 

The older child came up yelling at the little ones to go back to the house and I turned the scooter-kid in the right direction and continued on my walk to the next block. 

It all happened so fast that it took me a few minutes to realize what had just occurred. It sunk in that I may have just saved a couple of lives! My next thought was that "Poor God", had to begin talking to me about something on a Tuesday in order to get me in the right place on a Friday. 

But today, as I looked at my journal account of this week-long conversation with God, I am chuckling at my "listening skills". 

Yes, I was "hearing" God. But I was mistakenly translating his words into "christianese" or "church-speak", when He was speaking very LITERALLY. Go back up a few paragraphs and look at the underlined words. That is what I was hearing, but I translated them into my version, my church-life version of the words. I was picturing some kind of "outreach event" or ministry that "touched" lives. 

  " outside my house.....really touch."

This is hilarious to me. God had given me very specific directions and yes, I obeyed them at the right time and the correct place. But I had no idea that I was doing exactly what He wanted! I wonder if God often finds Himself telling us to do something very specific and we gum it all up with our complicated symbolism and church-speak instead of just doing what He said to do. 

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  1. Thank you Susie. This is a great lesson.

  2. Amen to this story....and I mean that in a very UN-Christianese way!
    I love it.

  3. It brings to mind a time when I was very ill and had no way to go to the doctor, so I prayed that God would tell S to call me. She never called that day, but the next time we spoke, so told me that God did, indeed, tell her to call but she just didn't. My jaw and my heart both dropped to the ground. He also provided another way for me to get to the doctor.

  4. I am so glad I finally sat down and read this to the end. Everytime I started to read it, I would get interrupted by something or someone, and had to shut it down and walk away. I finally obeyed the call to get back over here to my computer and look this post up again and finish it once and for all! Pow! What a message! You are so right! So often we think God is telling us one thing and we put Him off for our own reasons, and when He finally really gets out attention we find out exactly what He wants and we are blessed beyond measure because we finally listened and obeyed. And yes...perhaps someone really gets "saved" in the process...could be like the physical realm, or it could be in the spiritual realm...either's pretty important to God or He wouldn't have bothered us so often about it! Thank you, Lord, for making ME listen today!

  5. Listening is the easy part. Understanding is hard.

  6. Here's what's weird- I read this post...and now I am reading it again, and wondering why I didn't comment! I remember thinking...hmmm, maybe this is good for RJD day, and was wondering if you were sneaking in ahead of the game! lol.
    One problem, I often get interrupted right in the middle of using the family computer. Sometimes even booted off. Sigh...anyway I loved it then, and now- I swear I feel like I commented...this one really resonated- and I loved the way you wove it story-like, and then POW- the clincher. ;)

  7. ..."Poor God", had to begin talking to me about something on a Tuesday in order to get me in the right place on a Friday...

    But He got you there. Right on time!




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