Monday, January 21, 2008

To serve as Jesus served

I think that Jesus often lead with his service. He served people as a way of opening their eyes and rescuing their lives. When he washes the disciples' feet he tells them that they must serve one another like this. He prays all night after preaching all day, losing sleep but gaining insight and saving souls. He calms storms right after he wakes up.

Last Friday I seized an opportunity to save a woman's life. I heard shouting outside my store and looked out to see a woman stumbling along the road shouting at anything and everything. She was draped in a shirt and jacket, had stocking hat on to combat the 30 degree weather but was only wearing slippers. I saw her lose one of those briefly and then go back to retrieve it.

I was not sure what to do about her for a while. At first she seemed to have no real aim, just spouting off and venting. But I kept my eye on her and realized after a while that she was starting to work herself to step in front of one of the cars racing off the exit ramp for the freeway that runs a few yards from the store. She stepped off the curb just as one cruised up and screamed at the car as it braked and swerved around her.

I knew the Lord wanted this woman to live and I did too. I left the store and strode down the sidewalk across the street from her, telling her to come over to my side. She told me to leave her alone. She cussed me out. I looked both ways and jogged across to her. She sat down on the guardrail which ran about one foot from the curb and separated the roadway from a steep ravine with a 30 foot drop a yard beyond it.

I asked her to come with me inside and get warm. She said no one loved her and she wanted to die. I said that Jesus loved her and I loved her. She told me to get away from her and leave her alone. I said I really did and I didn't want her to die. She said she tried to kill herself many times and showed me her wrists.

I asked if there was anyone I could call. She gave me her sister's number and said she wouldn't answer. I dialed it as a cop pulled up. As cars drove between the cop on one side and me and her and the guardrail on the other, I shouted to him that I was calling her sister. She didn't pick up. I left her a message, told her that I was with her sister and that she needed her.

I told that cop that I worked the store just over there and I could take her with me. I turned to her and said "Do you want to come with me?" and she said yes. The cop said, "That's fine with me if it's fine with you". It was. She came with me; I held her wrist as she sobbed and told me how terrible her life had been. She could not win the fight against alcohol to keep walking a straight line without my hand on her wrist. As we walked she stopped weeping long enough to ask "What's your name?" I said "Josh" she said "Thank you Josh" and I got some of my treasure on earth.

That was the Lord. That was me. That was the Lord. I don't know that there's a more true way for me to think about it.


Sheila said...

then what happened? Did her sister call back?

Anonymous said...

GLORY! Christ in You - the Hope of Glory!

Josh said...

Her sister called back and said she'd come over but never showed. Nathan and Cathy came over and took care of her. She now has our phone number, knows who we are, and has been offered a whole new life. We can pray that she'll accept that offer.