Friday, July 09, 2010

Sidewalk debri

I was working in the center the other day and walked up towards the cash register and noticed my register man walking with a cell phone at his ear going towards the outside door. I assumed he had a customer question so I went to cover the register. He didn’t return right away which was out of character and I later found out that one of our men Eric was outside holding a sign when a man pulled up and got out of his car and opened the passenger side door where a woman was and he lifted her out and rolled her on the sidewalk, rushed back to his car, yelled out, “call 911” and sped away. Eric came in and called to the register man Seth, to call 911 which he did immediately; then he went to find out what he was calling for. When the operator answered he told her he could see a woman laying lifeless on the sidewalk. By then three other brothers from the center were outside around her praying. The 911 operator asked Seth to see if she was breathing, he said she didn’t appear to be. The operator asked him to put his ear to her mouth to see if he could hear her breathing; he did so but couldn’t hear anything and told the operator she was turning blue. She asked him if he was comfortable giving CPR, he wondered what his comfort had to do with anything but noticed what seemed to be a fluttering heart beat but it seemed to be diminishing. Just as he was about to administer CPR the woman gasped, then in a few seconds gasped again and continued to breath in a belabored fashion. Seth noticed an ambulance driving by and asked the operator if she could contact them and have them turn back. Soon the ambulance arrived and assessed her condition and gave her an injection of Norpan?, a drug that fools the opiate receptors in the brain so they cannot detect the opiate for about 15 minutes and then another injection is needed. The woman had overdosed on opiates and her beloved, who was captured not long after because of the presence of mind of the men who got his license plate numbers, had dumped her for who knows what reason?

It was another intense time at the center and one has to wonder why the man chose that location, between our center and a Porn shop, to discard her.

No question the woman’s life was saved because of the quick thinking and concentrated prayers of the men at the center.

This morning, as I was remembering this and wondering what it all meant, it came to me that the man who cast her aside and ran back to his car yelling for strangers to call 911 must certainly be desperately wicked. I wondered what he looked like, this monster of a man, and as I was thinking about this the Lord let me see his face; and the face was mine, as well as all of the guys at the center who have reeked havoc in the lives of others and then fled our responsibilities trusting the out-come to strangers, other family members, single moms, government institutions or just a 911 call to heaven. It was a sobering moment as I shared this today with the guys. It hit home and we ended with an earnest prayer of dedication and sober reflections.

Photo from the Internet

Monday, July 05, 2010

Going Home

I was reading in Thomas Brook’s “A String of Pearls”, a sermon given at a close friends funeral, and in his introduction he speaks of the woman – Mrs. Mary Blake deceased, with such fondness and inspiration that it moved me and I thought I would share some of the kind things he said of this woman who has gone to be with Christ some 400 years ago.

“Before I name my text, give me leave to speak a few words upon another text, viz., the glorified saint deceased, at whose funeral we are here met.

In life she was my joy… the work of grace upon her heart was clear, powerful, and thorough, as all know that knew her inwardly. She was a knowing woman in the things of Christ; and her knowledge was inward, experimental, growing, humbling, transforming, and practical. She knew Christ in the mystery as well as in the history; in the spirit as well as in the letter; feelingly, as well as notionally; she did not only eat of the tree of knowledge, but also tasted of the tree of life.

A sincere soul is like the violet, which grows low, and hides itself and its own sweetness, as much as may be, with its own leaves; and such a one was she. She had as many choice, visible characters of sincerity and uprightness upon her, as ever I read upon any Christian that I have had the happiness to be acquainted with. But I must not dwell on these things; I shall only say she was not like the actor in the comedy, who cried with his mouth, O heaven! But pointed with his finger to the earth. Such professors there be, but she was none of them.

She was as rich in spiritual experiences as most that I have been acquainted with. Ah! How often hath she warmed, gladded, and quickened my spirit, by acquainting me with what the Lord hath done for her precious soul. Experiences in religion are beyond notions and impressions. A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue; and she found it so. Oh! The stories that she was able to tell of the love of God, the presence of Christ, the breathings of the Spirit, the exercise of grace, the sweetness of the word, the deceitfulness of sin, and the devices and methods of Satan. And though she made uses of her experiences, as crutches to lean on, yet she only made use of the promises as a foundation to build on.

As the star led the wise men to Christ, her experiences were her sauce, but Christ was still her food.

She was a Christian in profession, and a Christian in practice; a Christian in lip, and a Christian in life; a Christian in word, and a Christian in work; a Christian in show, and a Christian in power and spirit.

She was for patience and cheerfulness under her long lingering weakness, as exemplary as any that ever I was acquainted with. If at any time she groaned, yet she blessed God, as she used to say, that she did not grumble. Oh how quiet, how like a lamb she was under all her trials. Oh how well she would speak of God! oh how sweetly did she carry it towards God! oh how much was she taken up in justifying of God throughout her pining, wasting sicknesses!

What eyes thou read’st with, reader, know I wot,

Mine were not dry when I this story wrote."

Photo from the Internet

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Prayer-Seeker

Along the aisle where prayer was made,

A woman, all in black arrayed,

Close-veiled, between the kneeling host,

With gliding motion of a ghost,

Passed to the desk, and laid thereon

A scroll which bore these words alone,

Pray for me!

Back from the place of worshipping

She glided like a guilty thing:

The rustle of her draperies stirred

By hurrying feet, alone was read,

As out into the dark she sped:

Pray for me!

Back to the night from whence she came,

To unimagined grief or shame!

Across the threshold of that door

None knew the burden that she bore;

Alone she left the written scroll,

The legend of a troubled soul, ---

Pray for me!

Glide on, poor ghost of woe or sin!

Thou leav’st a common need within;

Each bears, like thee, some nameless weight,

Some misery inarticulate,

Some secret sin, some shrouded dread,

Some household sorrow all unsaid.

Pray for us!

Pass on! The type of all thou art,

Sad witness to the common heart!

With face in veil and seal on lip,

In mute and strange companionship,

Like thee we wander to and fro,

Dumbly imploring as we go:

Pray for us!

Ah, who shall pray, since he who pleads

Our want perchance hath greater needs?

Yet they who make their loss the gain

Of others shall not ask in vain,

And Heaven bends low to hear the prayer

Of love from lips of self-despair:

Pray for us!

In vain remorse and fear and hate

Beat with bruised hands against a fate

Whose walls of iron only move

And open to the touch of love.

He only feels his burdens fall

Who, taught by suffering, pities all.

Pray for us!

He prayeth best who leaves unguessed

The mystery of another’s breast.

Why cheeks grow pale, why eyes o’erflow,

Or heads are white, thou need’st not know.

Enough to note by many a sign

That every heart hath needs like thine.

Pray for us!

Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, photo by Manuel Libres Librodo Jr.