A Divine 911 – Part Two

Posted: November 9, 2019 in Meditations


Getting to Joe’s house was no problem. I dropped Joe off several times on my way home to Wisconsin the past year. A block away from Joe’s house, I thought, “This is it, we’ll soon find out why I’m here.” And if nobody is home? I honestly can’t remember asking that question. Within seconds that question was irrelevant.

I pulled into the gravel driveway behind Joe’s house. No cars, the place seemed empty. I began to walk the stairs to the back door. The door opened, I looked up. It was Joe. I knew he was in trouble. Have you seen heartbreak, the agony that twists every fiber of your being? That was Joe. He had a huge plastic jar of pills under one arm and a thermos in his hand. Before Joe could say anything, I said, “Joe, God sent me here. He loves you. Don’t do this.” Joe didn’t speak. I continued, “What’s going on?”

Before Joe transferred to Missouri State University, he attended a local community college. A counselor took an interest in Joe – she did her best to help him, encourage him. She gained his trust and Joe survived, perhaps even thrived. Unfortunately, Joe could not discriminate between a professional and personal relationship. The counselor told Joe, “I can no longer see you.” Joe chose suicide rather than live life without her in his life.

“Joe, why would God knock me upside the head to come see you? If God didn’t care about you, why am I here at this precise moment? Joe, I don’t know what God has up his sleeve for you but it must be pretty big.” It took another thirty minutes to talk Joe off the ledge. We went inside. I called his mother who worked as a nurse. In fifteen minutes, she was home. The rest of our time in that kitchen is a blur, so much emotion. I hugged both of them. Mom assured me the situation was under control. I left.

I would love to tell you I kept in touch with Joe and that we are friends today. That is not the case. I did not pursue Joe, a reflection upon my shortcomings. I moved to California, got married and moved on with life. My old campus pastor gave me updates. Joe had a great year, a renaissance as a person and as a member of the campus ministry. That is my solace.

The most important person in this story is Joe. God used extraordinary means to preserve the life of a young man. God had plans for Joe and Satan was not going to win this battle. How God did this intervention is of little consequence to me.

What did God teach me? One, God loves us and God loved Joe extraordinarily, a young man most peers rejected. God sees what we cannot see. Two, be available – even if it takes a mule kick to the head to get your attention. Three, obey. Never say no to divine opportunity, no matter how small. An old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”

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