Her face was scrunched up like a raisin. Her arms hugged her chest matching the deep scowl that formed between curse words.
The lights of the rescue bounced off the surrounding homes looking for a place to land. The scene inside one of them had been cramped and intense as we’d found our angry patient (we’ll call Jan) lying on the floor unconscious, barely breathing.
People use drugs for a variety of reasons. Usually it’s an attempt to find someway to numb the pain that hurts so deeply inside. Jan had been using for a long time and it was too much.
I’d grabbed and pulled her into space large enough to work as my partner and I got her the treatment she needed.
Now, in the back of the rescue, the dim and dreary lights and atmosphere of the trailer were gone and Jan was awake after receiving treatment for her overdose.
Bitterness was written into the lines of her face and hard eyes reflected suffering I couldn’t personally sympathize with. No doubt Jan had been through horrific ordeals over the course of her life that many addicts experience.
I wish I could draw you into the dialogue of the ensuing transport but there are just too many vulgar words. One can only write, “bleeping” so many times. But what I can draw you into is the affect of sincere love, honor, and respect.
It can be so hard to maintain honor and respect for someone who is constantly hurling ugly words in your face. Often times we take it personally and then react but the truth is that ugly things people say are born out of pain that probably has nothing to do with you. Especially if you’re just meeting that person.
Heart wounds leak infectious bile seeking to make a home in whomever it can. But if there’s anything that can sterilize that hate it’s the perfect love of God reflected through people willing to stand in front of the onslaught.
I looked at Jan and was able to see the pain and torment of her life. I didn’t feel God was giving me any specific words to speak over her or to pray for her. But I did feel that he was leading me to show her love, honor, and respect no matter what.
So I did my best. I answered her spewing with sincere, God-given kindness. I refused offense a place in my heart. I looked for ways to exalt her and make whatever short time we had together successful for her.
My efforts had no affect on her demeanor, until it did. As I was ready to leave the hospital I stopped in one last time to wish her the best and as I did I saw her walls crack. Her stone eyes softened like dough and her shoulders fell. She told me how much she appreciated our help and apologized for how rude she’d been. She sincerely thanked us for saving her life.
In that moment, after I picked myself up off the floor, I could clearly see the precious heart of God’s dearly loved daughter. Underneath all the tragedy of her life, and hate birthed from it, was a little girl desperate for the love of God.
Love changes people! There is no greater power than the perfect love of God. The world operates in a system that calls love weak but they don’t understand that it was the self-sacrifical love of Jesus that disarmed and defeated the powers of darkness, making a mockery of them.
Love one another. By this they will know that we are followers of Jesus and will be drawn to his side.
Jesse and Kara Birkey
Jesse and Kara Birkey are committed lovers of Jesus who seek to show others the extraordinary life of Jesus is available for everyone. They have authored two books, been featured in films and seek to serve the Lord in whatever ways they can. Follow their blog here.
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Life Resurrected, Extraordinary Miracles through Ordinary People has been endorsed by Sid Roth and Mark Virkler and is a collection of inspiring stories making it clear that the extraordinary life of Jesus is available to all who love Him. It’s also the testimony of Jesse’s life, the road he travelled bringing him into the arms of Jesus. Get the paperback here. Get the Kindle Version Here. View the trailer here.
Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess is the story of their marriage—The tragedy and the restoration. They bear their hearts in an attempt to get others to bear theirs and finally receive the freedom they’ve longed for. Get the paperback here. Get the Kindle Version Here.