I remember a few years ago when I was working in a pediatric clinic.  A mom came in with her 7 year old daughter. The daughter had a swollen neck, among other symptoms that had been plaguing this girl for weeks.  They had gone to the ER twice and their regular doctor once and no one gave them any answers, or took them seriously and sent them home.  These people were educated, nice, concerned parents who just wanted their little girl to be taken care of.  I listened to their story and despite an overflowing waiting room and a busy doctor, I told them, you are not leaving until you are taken care of.  Something came over me that just understood the intensity of what they were feeling.  I got that girl into the doctor’s schedule right away and we admitted her to the hospital with, I think, Kaposi’s Syndrome.  Anyways, I knew she was sick and after going everywhere else, I knew she had to be seen-NOW!  There was no way we were putting another patient in until she was seen, despite her vague, boring symptoms and a swollen neck.  It was not urgent to the naked eye (as opposed to the usual clothed eye 🙂 but I knew I had to do everything I could to get someone to take her seriously even though I had no idea what was wrong. 

I don’t feel personally responsible all the time for helping people get their problems taken care of.  But every now and then, I draw a line in the sand, become strongly passionate, and get things taken care of. 

I think of the story in the Bible where the friends of the paralyzed man, picked up his bed with him in it and got him to Jesus after tearing off the roof of the crowded house Jesus was speaking at.  His friends must have felt the pain of being paralyzed, along with compassion for their friend, knew that only Jesus could help, and determined to do everything they could for their friend that day to get him to Jesus. Somebody saw a need, drew a line in the sand, and said, “Enough is enough.  Today our friend is getting healed.”  Were their lots of other sick people who needed healing?  I am sure, for the house was packed.  But that man got healed because his friends said, “Not on my watch will Jesus get through town without healing our friend”. 

I have felt many times, when people are in crisis, the feeling of, “Not on my watch will you stay depressed, overwhelmed, and angry. As long as I have breath, I will get you to Jesus.” 

Lots of people have needs.  Lots of people need jobs, houses, healing.  But I can care for those through prayer mainly,  in my care, on my watch.  I wonder what would change in my world if I started caring more and truly thinking, “Over my dead body, will such and such happen.”  Not on my watch, will my pastor continue to suffer with cancer.  Not on my watch, will my friend die without knowing Jesus.  Not on my watch, will you stay unemployed.  Not on my watch, will you go through life depressed and friendless.  Not on my watch, will you feel like no one cares. 

Not on my watch.

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