We couldn’t find her. We frantically looked throughout the house, but our 2 ½ year old granddaughter was nowhere to be found. Our plans to introduce all our grandchildren to their great grandparents had become a horrible disaster.
With a river behind the house and a creek in front of the house, we quickly broadened our search. I kept thinking, “They were all playing in the same room with us. What could have happened?” And I thought, “I’ll go back through the house one more time.”
I found nothing. Just an empty house. Then I remembered Grandpa on the back porch. The side effects from a recent stroke had left most of his body paralyzed. We all knew that he loved the back porch. So that’s where his hospital bed and all the machines and contraptions were hooked up. His face was distorted a little and his speech was difficult to understand which made most of the children afraid of him. We always went with them to visit him. We had visited with him briefly that morning and then left him to rest.
I carefully opened the door to the porch to check on him. All seemed well. Then I saw something move. I looked more closely. There on the bed was Lindsay! How did that little 2 ½ year old maneuver between all the tubes, machines, and rails around the bed? (Was she destined to be a mountain climber someday?) And she wasn’t sitting at the foot of the bed. She was comfortably nestled in between his paralyzed left arm and his chest. How did she get there and what was she doing up there?
As I listened, I discovered that she was talking 90 miles an hour, and Grandpa’s eyes were following every word she said. His eyes were twinkling and loving the attention. Occasionally, Lindsay would pat his arm as if to tell him “everything’s going to be OK.”
I tiptoed outside, gathered everyone up, and took them inside to show them what I had discovered. We all marveled at the scene before us. And at the same time we wondered what made Lindsay get up in that bed. I think it’s because of love that she—as little as she was—saw a need and ministered to the need the only way she knew how.
…Snow and ice blanked the yard and streets causing the schools to close. We were busy taking advantage of the extra time to clean out the closets and drawers. The kids were reluctantly helping us.
On her way to the kitchen to get a snack, Elizabeth looked outside at the snow. What she saw froze her heart and caused her to scream for help. She opened the back door and slipped and scampered toward the pool where our precious dog had fallen in. It looked like he’d been in the freezing water for some time by the splash marks around the pool.
In the few seconds she had, Elizabeth—knowing she didn’t have the strength to pull him out—jumped in to rescue Macho, our 90 lb. boxer. As she hit the cold water and saw his legs churning, she decided that she had to push him up out of the water. She took a big breath of air, went under the water and pushed him with all of her might. She was pushing and he was pulling with all his strength.
By this time, we all were out there pulling Macho and her out of the water and fussing at her for not waiting for us. We rushed Elizabeth into a hot tub of water, Macho into a hot shower, and warmed blankets in the clothes dryer for both of them.
What caused Elizabeth to risk falling and breaking a leg on the ice or coming down with pneumonia…for a dog? She told us there was no one else to help him, that she was there and had to do something to rescue him. And besides that, she loved him!
…He heard the jack collapse and sheer fear filled his mind. Before he could move, the four-door sedan fell on his chest. The pain was intense, breathing was difficult, and he knew he had only seconds to live. He heard his son asking what he should do to help. Should he run get help?
There was no time to call for help. It would take too long for anyone to get there. His only chance at getting out from under that car was his 12 year old son. So the father said, “Son, you are the only help I need. You must pick up the front end of this car enough for me to crawl out.”
R.J. replied that he wasn’t strong enough to pick up a car! His father responded, “Son, you can do this. I need you to pick up this car now! I’ll count to three and then you will pick it up and I will scoot out. Ready, one…two…three!”
And R.J picked up the front end of the car! His father had just enough room to inch his way out from under the car. Mr. Patterson was bruised and had several broken ribs. R.J.’s hands were cut where he lifted with such determination and pressure.
“Impossible,” you may be thinking. But our God does the impossible!
When I asked him why he even tried to pick up the car, his answer made perfect sense. He said, “Because I love my Daddy, I knew that if I didn’t pick it up, my Daddy would die. I had to pick it up so I asked God to use my hands to pick it up. And He did.”
…Years ago because of mankind’s need and there being no one else qualified to help mankind, God sent forth His Only Son to rescue us from the death hold sin had on us. There was no one else to help us. And Jesus did what no one else could do. With His death and resurrection, He did the impossible! He made it possible for us to have a relationship with God.
What caused the Sinless Son of God to agree to be the remedy to the need for a Savior? Why did He choose to suffer such an excruciating death on a cross? Why did He stay on the cross? He could have come down. He had the power and the authority. After all, He was the Son of Almighty God! He could move mountains, part the sea, tell the sun when to shine, and raise the dead…if He wanted to. He knew that He was the only One who could help us. So why did He remain on the Cross? Because of love!
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16, NLT, capitals mine).
My heart hurts as I think about this time of year and see the world engrossed in Easter eggs, baskets, bunnies, and new clothes. It seems as if we take His love for granted…that we don’t appreciate it. I want to get a cross and march across America singing, “On a hill far way stood an old rugged cross….” I want to wake people up. I want them to remember what a relationship with Jesus cost Him. I want them to live like they love Him! I want Him to see that we love Him and are willing to tell others about His great gift of love to mankind.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance….Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:1-7,13NLT).
Are you living a life that presents Christ’s love for mankind? If not, why not? Why don’t you pick up a cross and join me. We may not literally march across America, but we can live before those in our home, office, and community.
I’m praying for you!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?