This last Friday I had off from work due to some things my partner Matt had to do. I decided to visit a friend of mine in a town not far from Brentwood, so as I gathered my things and headed toward my front door, I noticed my cell phone battery was VERY low. For some reason, I couldn’t find my charger and; since it was so early in the morning, had to settle for going to a convenience store to get a generic USB cable to charge my phone.
The Charger that I bought was really bad. My phone would only charge up to about 3% and I could turn it on and go to my Google Maps and it would take me about 10 miles before I would have to recharge it. I left it plugged in but again, it would only charge up to 3% and would take me only so far before I would have to turn it off and wait a while for it to charge. This was a comical predicament. I didn’t know exactly where my friend lived and was relying on my phone and Google to get me to the address he had given me.
As I got within a short distance from where I was supposed to turn off, my phone was once again ready to be used. I turned it on, dialed in my friends address and up came the route on my screen. As I quickly scanned the route, I noticed where I had to exit the highway and which way to turn after the exit. I also saw the three streets I would have to drive to get to his front door, but just as I saw the location of my friends home, off went my phone. Sometimes…I wish I had a good old Rand McNally Map in my car.
I pulled off the highway at the exit and made the left turn I remembered on my GPS. Driving into a convenience store, I was determined to get a better phone charger, and this one had a really good one. I looked for the right cable and walked to the counter. While I was there I asked the two employees behind the counter if they could direct me to the streets that I had seen on my cell phone. The manager, a young woman of about 25 or so, said she would be happy to pull the address up on her phone and help me to my destination. This is when the point of my story happened.
As I stood there a woman behind me made a loud “SIGH”. You know, the kind of sigh that says, “Will you PLEASE hurry up!?” She mumbled, “Get a cell phone…or a LIFE dude!” I looked behind me and there stood a woman apparently on her way to work and she had stopped in for a cup of coffee and then off to work. “I’m sorry”, I said, stepping out of the line so she could make her purchase. She grunted and with a needless sarcasm she barked back, “Yeah, so am I!” She paid for her things and I got my directions. I thanked the manager and headed out the door right behind the woman I had inconvenienced (at the convenience store)!
As I approached my car, I heard a woman scream…..curse, and with a dull “thud”
She hit the concrete right next to her car. She had stepped off the curb, misjudged it, and all of her weight fell on her knees! Her coffee went flying. Both her cell phone and her cigarettes came out of her purse and were covered with coffee. She lay there moaning and crying, saying, “My knee, I think I’ve broken my knee!” I came running over from my car and saw her lying face down on the parking lot.
Kneeling beside her, I began asking her if she felt she could get up. I asked which knee got the brunt of the fall, I asked her if it was alright to touch her and to help her up. By this time the two convenience store employees came out and stood there watching. The woman allowed me to help her to sit on the curb. She continued to hold her right knee. I picked up the coffee soaked phone and dried it on my shirt and pants. I handed her, the cigarettes and phone and she just continued to cry. The employees were looking at me, the woman was crying, other people were gathering around. In a situation like this I did the only thing I knew to do… I prayed.
Placing my hand on her knee, I prayed, “Lord, I ask in Jesus name for you to heal this knee, and to console my new friend.” That was it. No great theological statements, causing the earth to shake…just a little quiet prayer in the parking lot of a convenience store somewhere in Lebanon, Ohio. Then, it got really quiet.
The two employees asked if she wanted some ice for her leg. The woman had stopped crying. She looked up for the first time and said, ‘No, I’m going to be fine.” I asked her, “Would you like to try to stand up?” She shook her head yes and I took her hand as she stood upright. She looked at me and said, “I’m going to be fine…you’re the man in front of me in line…” kind of like she hadn’t noticed until that moment. I said, “Yes”, and smiled at her. “ Tears came into her eyes. “I treated you so badly in there…her voice trailing off through sobs. “I’m so sorry”…
I asked her how her leg felt and she said it didn’t hurt anymore. On my insides I was jumping up and down with delight…but I knew it wasn’t due to me. I suddenly remembered when, as a young man, someone had figuratively given me a hand off the ground…and I knew the feeling of shame and humiliation. I got tears in my eyes too. I said, “It’s okay…don’t mention it.” She said, “But, you prayed for me…and…” I know it sounds funny…but the song came into my mind as I helped her to get into her car. It was an old time song…
“Something good is going to happen to you
Happen to you, this very day,
Something good is going to happen to you,
Jesus, of Nazareth is passing your way.”
It reminded me of a sermon I had heard once, a long time ago. The pastor had begun his message by saying, “It was a day, like any other day…when Jesus showed up.” I remembered when He had showed up for me and I realized His desire for me to get away with Him so we could spend some time together as the woman drove off. He gently whispered to me, “Do you remember when I helped you up off the curb?” I put my face in my hands and just sat there in my car… I DID remember, and my knees were all skinned up too. But like a gentle shepherd, Jesus put salve on my knee, bandaged me up, and stood me back up on my feet.
Didn’t He help you? Wasn’t it painful before he showed up? Have you forgotten? I was a loud mouthed sarcastic fool, but Jesus showed up for me. And when others need help, He will ask us to step up and do as He did. Help the fallen to walk. That’s what the church is for…helping the fallen to walk toward the light. Thank God for low cell phone batteries!