My son and I had just finished playing a game of horse on our driveway. My shots where all of the immobile variety for a reason I will save until the end of this post. Down the street an ambulance, three police cars, and a fire truck arrived at my neighbor’s house six houses down.
“Lord this is my neighborhood, you have placed me here, what should I do?” “SHOW UP.” No burning bush, no ethereal voice, no glowing touched-by-an-angel, just the quiet confidence that this is what it means to be a Christ-one.
So I shuffled down the block to find a young twenty-something girl sprawled out on the grass where she had apparently passed out. Two paramedics were attending to her, “DON’T INTERRUPT THEM.” Three police officers were huddled in conversation. “NOT THEM, THEY DON”T NEED YOU.” Another woman was on the phone. “HER. APPROACH HER.”
“I’m from up the street, where all the neighborhood kids play basketball. I’m a Christian, is there anything I can do?” “Just pray for her,” came the reply. “Has she been out in the sun, maybe it’s heatstroke …”
After a few minutes, the paramedics lifted Anicka onto a gurney and took her to the hospital for observation.
“Can I pray for you and the family?” “Yes, thank you. Daddy come here, we’re going to pray for Anicka.” My neighbor sauntered over with his cane and I prayed briefly for Anicka, her grandfather, her mother, and sister, who gathered around and held hands with me as I prayed.
“What hospital are they taking her to?” “Bolingbrook Adventist here in town.” “Great, I will check back with you later or tomorrow to see how she is doing. If there is anything I can do, here’s my number and my house is right up the street.”
Intensely Local ministry is that simple.
- Show up.
- Be available.
- Listen to the Spirit of God.
- Be verbal.
Lord, forgive me/us for all the times we have had similar opportunities and not taken them. Help me to follow up with the family and use this event as a pathway to the gospel. In Jesus name, Amen.
Aside: I was immobile and shuffling in my steps because, in another attempt to be Intensely Local, last Wednesday, I pulled a muscle in my leg after a round of basketball with a Muslim friend I had just made in Vernon Hills. Another story for another time.
6-30-10 Update. Anicka is still in the hospital and being observed for some heart issues, possibly related to a surgery she had recently. Keep her in prayer and pray to for my opportunities to represent and proclaim Christ to the family.
7-8-10 Update: Anicka is home, recovering and I have had two more conversations with Sterling, her grandfather. Pray for more opportunity to speak into this family and to bring a word of Christ.