Lifelines

Whenever I go out and about, I typically take my scooter because my hands cannot maneuver a manual wheelchair. I’ve had my little scooter for about 6 years, give or take a few. It has brought me so much freedom because it can be easily dismantled and loaded into a small car, so I am able to take it with me on many trips.

Recently, I went on a trip to see my family for Christmas. My son in law had fixed my scooter once before and said, “This might not hold,” but instead of pursuing it to get it truly fixed, I just let it go.  It had started to act up in early December, but I just sort of ignored it.

To my dismay, when I transferred planes in Seattle, the scooter just sort of limped along and wouldn’t go very fast at all. The person who was helping me wanted me to hurry up, but I couldn’t communicate to him that it was impossible! I had about 45 minutes to connect to my next flight, but I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get there. I wanted the guy who was helping me to just put me in a wheelchair, but he didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand him. I had visions of missing my flight, but eventually, we made our way down toward  the next gate..

As we approached the gate, I thought, “How am I going to get from here to the plane?” Then a dark-haired woman young woman  asked me if I needed help, and I said, “Yes,” and told her what was going on with my scooter. She asked me if I wanted her to push me, but after a few minutes we both decided that the best way for her to help me was to go get someone that works at the airport. I appreciated this woman offering to help me because even though she couldn’t solve the complete problem, the little bit that she was able to do meant a lot.  I got to my gate and got on the plane and breathed a sigh of relief.

There are many times that we shy away from helping each other because we feel insufficient or overwhelmed by the larger problem. We look at the person’s situation and think, “I can’t help them; the issue is too big!” Instead of doing what we can to help, we don’t do anything, out of fear of being unable to meet their need.

Here we are with a brand new year, and there will be a lot of opportunities that we can pass by or that we can participate in with joy. Judy Squier is a friend of mine from Joni and Friends who has written a book called Living in the Names of God.  In the midst of my frustrating morning, I quickly glanced at her blog, and she shared some greeting cards that her daughter had given her for Christmas with the different names of God and a sentence about each meaning. As I started to read them, my busy mind slowed down. It was as if she’d tossed me a lifeline and pulled me into safety.

One of the names was ‘Jehovah Raah’ which means ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ and underneath it is written, ‘The shepherd God who cares for our every need.’ After reading this, I decided to just take a deep breath and see how God will figure this whole thing out. The other one that stood out to me was ‘Elohim’ which means ‘Mighty Creator’ and underneath was written, ‘The Creator God who makes no mistakes.’ I am often afraid that when I make a mistake, that everything is going to fall apart, but He doesn’t make mistakes, even when I do.

We can all keep an eye open for opportunities to throw lifelines to others; a smile or a word of encouragement can go a long way. Have fun throwing out those lifelines, and let me know how it goes!