Monday, March 01, 2010

Sunny walk, dark path--would we have rescued this boy?

An autistic teenaged boy sank in a pond last Saturday at a dog-walking park. He walked through some brush and between bushes, and next thing his mother knew, he had run out into a pond and was sinking, over his head.

The mother screamed and my friend's husband shed his jacket and ran in after him. The boy, who cannot talk, reached for him. The man pulled him out and carried the 120-pounder to shore.

The grateful, distraught mother said she had tried to teach her son to swim, but the teenager couldn't even learn to blow bubbles.

It could have been so tragic but for the selflessness of the man. They called him a hero but he doesn't accept that. He says anyone else would have done the same thing.

Maybe, maybe not. I hope I would have. But we don't know until we're there.

Every day, don't we see people headed for danger, and say nothing?

I know I do. Sometimes the Holy Spirit says that this isn't the right time or place. That they wouldn't receive it right now. I think I'm hearing that, anyway. Sure makes it easier to say nothing.

But the Bible says, "Now is the day of salvation."

And in Ezekiel 3 it says to warn His people even when they won't listen.

Some may reject us. Some may reach for us. But we won't know until we try.

My heroine's mother-in-law was like this man, ready to plunge in and rescue people. She plunged into conversation with the man who loved the heroine, challenging him to explore his faith further.

He did. All the way to Israel. A whole new world opened up to him and he found more than he sought--including the Six-Day War. Trained as a US Air Force pilot, he flew and fought for Israel after someone dear to him was shot. Eventually, he returned home much richer in spirit, with more to give the heroine--and her mother-in-law.

And then the fun began.


Amy Deardon said...

It's easy not to engage people. I think it comes down to not really remembering or really believing what might be at stake. I love CS Lewis' observation (paraphrasing here) that all of us, every one, is destined to become either a creature that is so beautiful we would be tempted to worship it, or else a horror worse than we can imagine. But it's still hard. How does one bring up such a deeply personal topic on the fly?

Margo Carmichael said...

Good points, Amy. It's not easy to engage people in this deeply personal topic.

The best witnessing conversations I've had on the fly, I've started by saying something like, "I'm boing to Heaven one day. I hope you'll be my neighbor there, too. Do you know if you'll be going to Heaven?" And I laugh because it's a startling question, for sure, and the laughter takes the threat away and we can dialogue.

There are others as in a program called Master Life and one from Coral Ridge and a seminar called Share Messiah and tapes called Kingdom of the Cults. I enjoyed all those.

And for me, the "I'm going to Heaven one day" and will I see you there sort of question is a good opener.

That earthquake in Chile actually shortened the day by knocking the world off its axis by 3" according to National Geographic. That and many other things just give me a sense of urgency:

We are running out of time.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

Margo Carmichael said...

(LOL "boing to Heaven one day." That's one way, I guess!)

Kathleen L. Maher said...

As a mom of a child with Autism, I want to thank that selfless man! God bless him!

To extend your metaphor a bit, Margo, the church can be full of judgment when people are in need, rather than help. Half the time when my son is having difficulties, I get stares and rolled eyes rather than help.

May we be more like that man who was quicker to help the boy rather than scold about how he got out there to begin with. Everyone makes choices that can lead them to danger or ridicule. Will we show compassion or sit on the sidelines and gossip about how they got there?

Great post.

Margo Carmichael said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kathleen. I'm so sad about the stares. Yes, the Lord says to be compassionate. Sometimes people forget. God bless you and your son. And this man.