Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hanging On

We had loaded the car, turned off all the lights, set the alarm and were out the door. It was Chad's race weekend and we were so excited to get on the road.

The closer we got to 285 the more we saw the traffic just waiting to exit. We decided to take 85 into town and hit 75 north the "long" way as my girls call it. This was a treat for me. I love the Atlanta skyline, I think it's beautiful. As long as I'm not the one driving that is!!!

Once we got on 75 there was very little traffic. The girls were listening to their MP3 players, singing along to their Christmas music. Chad and I were chatting about the 1/2 marathon he would be running the next day and Paddington was asleep in the floor at Chloe's feet.

I remember thinking how strange the traffic was. There were so few cars around us, and then I saw this thing.

We were coming close to an overpass and I saw this mass on the outside of the chain link fence. I quickly realized that the mass, was a human being.

A lady.

A blond lady in jeans and a flannel shirt. She had crawled over the fence and with her fingers in that chain linked fence, she was barely hanging on.

Chad and I realized it about the same time and he grabbed his phone to call 911. Chad got through to them, hung up the phone and we answered as many questions about it as the girls could throw at us, and then we prayed. We prayed for the lady with the blond hair, we prayed for the police that would be there shortly...and then we said amen.

The image of this woman hanging on that overpass has not left my mind. I've seen her while I pray, when I'm shopping, I've seen her in my seems that everywhere I turn, I see women just hanging on for dear life. God will not let me forget.

We have no idea what happened. I'm not sure I want to know to be quite honest. I just know that my heart has hurt for her everyday since that Friday in early November.

What made her crawl up and over that fence? Was she lonely? Had someone hurt her? Was she trying to get someones attention? Most importantly, did she know Jesus? Most of these questions Chloe and Emma asked in the car as we continued our drive.

I saw another lady this week hanging on for dear life. I don't quite know how to describe the situation other than she was fighting the Holy Spirit. I watched her fidget and squirm, refuse to make eye contact and blame everyone else for her problems. I heard her talk about whomever wasn't standing near her at the time.

My heart hurt for her. She is lonely. I feel bad, but honestly she's done it to herself. She says she knows Jesus as Savior and attends church, but I think she quit being a disciple a long time ago. She knows nothing more of Jesus today than she did a year ago. Oh, don't get me wrong, she can talk the talk but when it comes right down to it....she doesn't care.

I left that place in tears. Doesn't she want to move past whatever it is that is holding her in the funk? Does she want to live the abundant life Jesus died to give her?

I can tell you that as I prayed for her, I kept wondering why. Why does she choose to stay that way. Every time I think of the lady from this week, I see the lady on the bridge.

I was so quick to pray for the lady on the bridge, pray for help to get there asap. It was life or death.

The lady this week, I have prayed for her, but I have not had the same urgency. God forgive me, because I should. It is life or death for her too.

God opened my eyes and my heart. You don't have to be hanging off the side of an overpass to be hanging on for your life.

I'm praying for the day I can say that the lady I know, is living. Living the life Jesus died to give her. Abundant, Happy, and Free.


Heather said...

The image God gave you is so powerful! I am saying a prayer for the woman you know...may she stop resisting and let Him rescue her!!!

BethAnne said...

You are so right....its easy to pray for people in obvious distress and overlook those who are living in a personal prison....good word.

Heather C said...

What a powerful post! Thank you for sharing what the Lord has so deeply impressed upon your heart. Now it's engraved on mine as well. God bless you.

LAURIE said...

Wow! incredible post. How many people that we rub shoulders with each and every day are like the ones you have described ... just hanging on. But we just pass them by. I pray that God would stir in my heart to share hope and love to those we see in such need. Thanks for the reminder! -Blessings, Laurie

Deanna said...

Perhaps that lady just doesn't know how to move past the comfortable walls of her prison to get to where she needs to be to let go. I know it took me awhile and a few dear friends who just would not let go of me to love me through the worst before I could learn to ever so slowly learn to trust God enough to let him change me and to listen enough to do my part.

Melinda said...

Oh Steph...I'm speechless.

Maybe that's what God wants me to be - quiet, listening, praying for those just "hanging on".