Saturday, February 16, 2008

"I need a little help here"

God often uses everyday experiences to press something spiritual into my heart. The lesson is sometimes spontaneous and the application obvious, but most of the time he reveals it to me slowly knowing my shallow mind may miss something significant if I get to see it all at once. I have come to sense when this is happening and I'm learning to expect it when an image won't leave my mind and I can't figure out why. Here is the most recent and I am amazed again at God's creative way of teaching me the important things.

My husband and I were at our son's college baseball game last week when we noticed a blind man enter the small stadium. After several innings we noticed that this young man now sitting down on the first row behind home plate, was yelling out about different calls that the umpire was making and cheering for the team. We got to giggling at first at the irony of a blind man criticizing the umpire. My husband of course was jabbing me in the ribs and giving me a look that said "hey how come that guy gets to yell at the umpire and I don't?" ( I have never left him in the marriage, but I have moved away from him in the bleachers a few times) The longer we watched the more we realized that his calling out was absolutely accurate every time. A called strike 3 was high and inside and this guy yelled "come on ump, you know that ball was up!" We wondered if his hearing was so good that his mind could register where the ball was caught based on the sound hitting the catchers glove. Anyway...several innings later he got up and left the stadium. We were sitting at the top of the bleachers and watched him walk out and turn to stand just behind and below us. He stood there cane in hand and began calling out "I need some help here. I need a little help here. I need to get to the metrolink station across campus near the campus police station, the train leaves at 4:40" . He wasn't yelling, but calling out with some expectation I think. He wasn't disappointed. Within a few minutes a group of students, maybe about 15 or so from the track team came over and took him by the arm and away they went. At first I just thought it would be great if anybody could do that. Call out, "hey I need a little help with the groceries" and neighbors and people driving by would come running to help. We laughed about all the ways that would be great. But as the week has passed I couldn't get over what really happened and what God has shown me through that image.

We all walk around handicapped in some way or another. We may have figured out how to get around pretty well and learned to compensate or cover our problems. We may have even decided its better to stay put than let anybody know we are stuck. Maybe this guy could have tapped his cane all the way to the metrolink station but maybe he would have been late, or maybe he wasn't familiar enough with the route to make it. Regardless he recognized that this time he needed help and wasn't shy, fearful or too full of pride to ask for it. He didn't know how to get where he was going, but he knew what he needed, a few people to come along side him and help. What about me? Am I willing to do the same when it comes to asking for help? Am I willing to say "I need some help here, I can't make it by myself today and I need a few of you to come along side me this time" Do we come to church and humble ourselves so that we can ask for help, or do we come in and just hope nobody notices we are stuck or hurting? Is ours the kind of church where we feel like we ca stand up and say "I need some help here. I have a problem and I need you guys to come along side me and pray today" Is ours a body that would take a few steps closer to someone calling out and without judgement be willing to walk with them in prayer in that moment?

This young man didn't start by explaining the details of his blindness or why he was in a place where he needed help, he just called out that he needed a little help and the help came running. When God's will calls us to move, lets do everything we need to in order to accomplish that, even if it means letting others in on the truth that we may need a little help. Can we get past the over-important "I" plan and lay it down for the most-important "God" plan.

Isn't that what God asks of us on all sides of this scene? Humble yourself and ask for help rather than being paralyzed by pride or fear. Run to the side of another who needs you to pray for them or with them without alot of concern as to why or how they became so needy. Respond in such a way that if an unbeliever was watching this scene God would be able to use it to burn in that heart for his own glory.

By the way if you ever "need a little help" I'll have my running shoes on!