Losing Your Life to Save It

May 28, 2018

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Nobody likes stress. No one likes physical discomfort. No one likes feeling helpless or disliked. One cold evening about a year ago, my husband J.D. called me while I was on my way home from work.

“Can you come to the parking lot on Heyer and Center instead of going home? I’m helping a lady whose car won’t start, but she doesn’t speak much English, mostly Spanish I think.”

I arrived a bit nervous. My Spanish wasn’t what it used to be. Even at its peak, it was greatly influenced by my time in Ecuador, where the language is spoken at a slower pace and uses slightly different vernacular than the quick Mexican Spanish of California.

J.D. explained that this lady’s car had stalled out on the hill above the parking lot and everyone in rush hour traffic had been honking at her and pulling over the double yellow line to get around her. So, he pulled his car behind hers. Despite the language barrier, he convinced her to drive his car to the parking lot at the bottom of the hill while he rolled hers there so he could work on it away from traffic.

So, I made conversation with her while J.D. continued tinkering under the hood. My words didn’t come smoothly by any means. But they came smoothly enough to understand that this poor woman had been on her way home from cleaning houses when her car gave out. She shivered in the cold on the side of the road for four hours, waiting for her boyfriend to get off work, while people honked at her rather than help her.

Four. Hours.

I almost cried. What a terrible experience for her! And I felt ashamed. Of everyone who drove past willfully oblivious. But also of myself. I wouldn’t have stopped either. I would have assumed it was already being handled. I mean, who doesn’t have a cell phone nowadays? And not to mention, I know nothing about cars – what use could I have been? But I do own blankets. And I do know how to make hot tea. You know, at my house, just two blocks away. But I would have driven right on by like a modern-day Pharisee.

But I picked my husband gooood. I may act like a Pharisee sometimes, but he’s a Good Samaritan whom I learn from every single day. His first thought is, How can I help? when he hears of someone in need. And not only does he think it, but he acts on it to the best of his ability.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:24

It doesn’t matter if it’s inconvenient for him. He will drop everything because he believes so firmly that we are to be Christ’s ambassadors, showing compassion to the world in His name. And he will make sure to communicate that the reason he’s doing it is because of Christ, because how will they know unless they’re told (Romans 10:14)?

By the time the lady’s boyfriend had arrived, J.D. had figured out that her car’s battery was caput. I translated the prognosis as we said our goodbyes, adding, “Dios le bendiga” (God bless you).

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

How can you “lose your life to save it” this week?

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

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