Take Notice, Stop, & Try

January 2, 2016

Friends,
Well, it’s a new year and I pray that all who love Jesus will make choices that further our effectiveness in proclaiming what is written in God’s Word. Because every day there are people in pain, loneliness, and despair; every day there are people in rebellion against God; and every day there are people dying and going to Hell. Even if we have our own concerns, it sometimes takes only five or ten minutes extra to make a big difference. I was reminded of this again this week when I passed through the ER lobby on my way to the 5th floor of a hospital.

I passed a young woman groaning and writhing as she lay on her side on a long cushion bench. “What could I do?” I thought. “I’m already tired, and I’m in a hurry.” The person who had been waiting for me as I parked the car said that the woman had been calling out to Jesus and that maybe we should tell a person at the front desk to check on the woman. I whispered that I suspected her problem to be drug related and that since she had a hospital band on already, she probably was just going to have to wait her turn. It was distressing, though, for there must have been at least 50 people waiting their turn.

I was going to go on, but the person with me said we should do something. I decided to try to do what I could and I went over and knelt by the young woman. “I’m so sorry you are in pain,” I said. “Do you want me to pray with you?”

“Yes, please,” the woman cried, grabbing my hand.

“What is your first name?” I asked gently.

She told me, and with my face close to hers, my left hand holding her hand, and my right hand caressing her back, I prayed that God would alleviate her pain, heal her, bring her close to Himself, and give her a good and happy 2016. I prayed that God would comfort her and help her. She said “Amen!” several times through my prayer, and afterwards when I hugged her, she hugged me and didn’t want to let go. So I just kept hugging her as she cried. I told her to be reading God’s Word because that is food for our spirit and makes us strong and courageous and gives us comfort and guidance. She kept agreeing.

When she saw I was about to go, she asked me to get her some ice, so I said I would ask a nurse, which I did. The nurse said she couldn’t have ice, but that she would go and check on her. I hope she did.

I tell about this occurrence only because the Lord is leading me, I believe, to tell it. (I was going to write about something else tonight.) But I believe the Lord wants to encourage us through what I’m writing about here to remember that we are to stop and take notice of those people –at least those in our path– who are “bleeding in the ditch”. We can’t help everyone, that’s for sure, but we can often ease a small bit of pain someone is experiencing, if we would just give a few minutes of our time. –Even if we are hurrying to church. –Even if we are rushing to a ministry post. –Even if we are tired or feel we have little to offer in curing the person’s problem.

We should still try. We should still stop. We should still ask. I had thought the woman would not welcome a prayer from me, a hug, or a word of gentle exhortation about God’s Word. But she did. And she thanked and thanked me. So… shouldn’t we always take the chance if we can?

I think the Lord is reminding me to do so. I hope others will hear the call as well.

Then 2016 might be a turning point year. For someone. Someone we stop next to, take notice of, and give help to, even if it seems “meager” to us.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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