Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rescue Me

"Remember when I drownded?" asks Jot anytime we are near a pond. His grammar is a little off and obviously, he didn't really drown--but he easily could have.

A few years ago, my extended family gathered at my uncle's house on a hot, July afternoon. We laughed, we ate, we talked, we ate, the kids swam and the adults, well, yes, we ate. A large sandy beach covered one end of the pond and Jot and Jewel played there all afternoon, building castles and wading out just far enough to scoop a bucket of water or to wash off the sand. Justice splashed and dove in the water with some of the older boys. My husband and I took turns sitting near the sand with the other adults who watched the fun.

The long afternoon wore on and soon it came time to go. I gathered up the dishes while my husband packed the folding chairs and blankets. A few people left and the last of the adults finished swimming and changed into dry clothes.

"Get him! Get him! He's going under!" My aunt's scream pierced the air and for a moment silence reigned. Then action and chaos everywhere. We all looked toward the pond and several people shed shoes and shirts on their way toward the water. In the middle of the dark water a small head bobbed up and then disappeared again. Jot!

The first to the water, my cousin's husband, made it to Jot just ahead of my husband. Matt passed Jot off to his daddy and climbed from the water--fully clothed. You see, Matt had just changed back into his clothes after spending the day in the pond with his children. While Jot sputtered and cried, Matt pulled his sopping billfold from his back pocket and spread the contents on the rocks to dry. The most surprising thing about Jot's rescuer is that he doesn't swim. We had discussed it earlier in the day that he never really learned to swim and didn't really like water. But, forgetting all that, he reached Jot and was able to shove Jot into the waiting arms of his daddy who stood at the edge of the sandy drop-off.

Later, the story came out: Jot, Justice, and a few other kids floated on a raft in the shallow end. But the breeze apparently blew the raft past the drop-off into deeper water. Someone bumped Jot off into water that was over his head. He told me, "I tried to keep my head out of the water, but I just couldn't do it."

Today, when my kids retell this story, they always end with "The guy who jumped in the water didn't even know how to swim!" We are all intrigued by people who act in heroic ways. We stand amazed when non-professionals go into a burning building, dive into dark waters, or risk personal safety to help another person.

But the truth God reminded me from that scary experience is that everyone of us can be a non-professional rescuer. Now, I hear you--Who, me? Yes, I'm talking to you. We each come with pre-programmed abilities and talents. Things we are good at that not everyone else can do well.

What do you have in your ability arsenal that could rescue someone today? Can you cook or bake or even call for pizza from memory? Then think about who's life you could bless today with a meal. Maybe a new mom, a family struggling with unemployment, or your neighbor whose husband takes chemotherapy this week?

Maybe you have a knack for organizing or decorating. Who is drowning around you that could benefit from a few hours of your help? The single mom down the street who is trying to decorate her new apartment on a budget after her husband left her with three small children? The young newlywed couple in your Sunday school class who just bought their first house and their parents live out-of-state?  Your friend who just started a small business and is struggling with all the tasks that need to be done each day?

Maybe you excel in managing your finances. Take a look around. Many people don't have the time or money to see a personal advisor, but just a few helpful tips from you could get them on a budget or started on investing or tackling a debt.

The possibilities are endless and they don't have to be connected with your "day job". But ask yourself what you have to offer and look around and see who needs a helping hand. You don't have to be a professional at it, but just dive in today and see who you can rescue.

I guarantee that not only will they be so thankful and encouraged by your help, but they will be even more pleased because you are willing to take a chance and wade into unknown waters to reach someone in need.


  1. Thanks for reminding me that I can be a hero in the everyday things in life!

  2. Karla, you are a hero everyday! Loved your Hoosier Ink blog today. I always know when it's you writing, even when it doesn't say.

  3. WOW!!! What a wonderful way to take that memory and make us see God all over for other than the obvious reasons!!