I heard a story on the radio this morning that really stuck with me. Apparently, the DJ’s son was swimming in a public pool over the weekend, and almost drowned. The lifeguards didn’t see him, the crowd didn’t see him (or at least respond to him), the other swimmers didn’t see it. But, his mother, saw him struggling then begin floating face-down in the water. She screamed for her husband, who without even thinking about it, sat his coke bottle on the cement and dived in to save his young son.
Immediately after his son gasped for air and spit the water from his lungs, it began; the onslaught of helpful advice and correction police.
- You shouldn’t have yelled his name, you should’ve yelled, “Help”
- You shouldn’t dive into the shallow end of the pool like that
- You’re not allowed to have glass containers in the pool area
The kid was drowning. . .LITERALLY.
Where were your keen observation skills while THAT was happening? And the lifeguards? Where were you while this child was floundering and floating?
But, then again. . .don’t we all do this, all the time?
We see someone struggling, we decide it’s none of our business and when their whole world falls apart we have to prove we know the rules, we got sidetracked and stopped watching out for you, and now, we’re really embarrassed we didn’t jump to save you.
In Matthew 7:3, Jesus says “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Let’s revisit these bits of sawdust. . .
Setting a glass bottle down near the pool. . .
Sometimes the suffering are carrying things that need to be released for them to move on and be effective. Sometimes, we can take that load from them. Essentially, we can take the glass bottle from their hands so they’re free to jump. Let’s be aware of those around us “with their hands full” and be of service to them.
Diving in the shallow end. . .
In this case, there was nothing else that could be done, that’s where this child was floating. Rather than chastising. . .look to see WHY they’re “jumping in the shallows” and get in there yourself. I’m sure this father was frantic and looking for help. . seeing none, he did what he could. I pray that God opens my eyes to those around me, so that I can see where their struggles lie and I can meet them there.
Calling out a name, instead of “HELP.”. . .
So, to whom do you call when you’re drowning? Of course, your spouse, your parent, your siblings all come to mind. Me too. But, for the case I’m making here, this mom did exactly the right thing; she called on the Father to save. Do we rely on our Heavenly Father to save us? Do we believe he sees us drowning and longs to reach down in our despair to lift us out? He really is the only one that can see us flailing in the pool among all those other happy, splashing people. He can see we’re drowning. . we don’t need to explain it to him. . a simple “Help!” will suffice. He is the Master of the Seas and the one that can calm the storm.
Father, please make me aware of those around me who are struggling to keep their heads above water. Help me see those who are carrying a load and need to set it down. Help me to reach out and empty their hands. . .to jump in the shallow end and use these hands to make a difference, rather than pointing out their mistakes. Let me be aware of what’s going on around me so that I can call for help, when they can’t find the words.
We’re all in this pool together. . .after all.