When time stood still

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One Tuesday evening, I left my house at 7:10 to go to my 7:30pm Bible study. I remember it being exactly this time because it always took me 20 minutes to get there in good traffic and the first round of Wheel of Fortune had just ended. If you’re a Wheel watcher, you know the first round always takes 10 minutes.

Just after driving past a grocery store, I noticed a lady on the right side of the sidewalk. She was crawling in the grass between the sidewalk and the curb. “How unusual,” I thought. Then God told me to go back and help her. I thought, “If I do that, I’ll be late for home church. Besides, maybe she’s looking for something.”

I tend to argue with Him, but generally, He doesn’t argue back. He either repeats Himself or says nothing, but this time I couldn’t dismiss His request. So, I pulled into the first driveway on the right, turned off my car, and walked about 20 yards to where the lady was. She was drunk, and had a brown bag containing vodka clutched in her right hand.

“Do you need help?” I asked. What a dumb question. Anyway, she said “No” but it was apparent she was so disoriented that I knew she couldn’t possibly make it home, or wherever she was going.

“How about I give you a ride home?” I asked.

“No, I just live across the street.” I looked across the street, and saw an entire apartment complex. Five buildings arranged in no apparent order. She managed to stand up, but started heading straight toward the busy 4-lane road. As she staggered, I calmly held her, and told her I’d help her cross the street. Inside, though, I was afraid. What if she got belligerent, or tried to cross without letting me guide her? If she did that, she’d probably get hit by a car. While these thoughts raced through my head, she just stood there, dazed and unsteady, and when it was safe to cross, I led her across the street.

“OK. Which apartment is yours?” With a glazed look, she slurred out, “Over there,” and we headed in that general direction.

“What’s the apartment number,” I asked?

“I don’t know. It’s up that hill.”

So I guided her up the hill. All of this was not very easy for me, since this lady was much taller than my five foot 1 inch frame. I kept praying, though, that God would get her home.

At the top of the hill, she told me she lived “over there”. I felt like we were looking for a needle in a haystack. So, we walked over to a row of apartments, and when we came to 3B, she said, “OK- this is it.”

“Do you have a key?”

“It’s not locked.” I really hoped she was right. I knocked on the door in case it was someone else’s pad, and since no one answered, I turned the knob and opened the door. Inside, there were lots of cigarette butts in several ashtrays, empty liquor bottles, and a general mess.

“How about you lie down on your couch?” I asked.

“OK.” She plunked down on the couch. I covered her with a blanket that was on the floor and asked her if she’d be OK.

“Yes…yes….”

Upon leaving I felt so empty inside, like I wanted to sit with her and make sure she would really be all right.

I walked back to my car and drove off toward my home church. All the way there, I was thanking God that He used me to help her out. I knew that even though I’d be late, it was worth it. As I pulled into Carol and John’s driveway, I glanced at the clock in my car. 7:29pm. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at my wristwatch: 7:30pm. Then my cell phone: 7:30pm. It was like I was doing double-takes. How could this be? I know I spent a good ten minutes with that lady. Huh- God made time stand still for me. Awesome, eh?

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