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Ann Farabee column: You saved my life

By Ann Farabee

Sometimes, he asked if he could go to church with us. He was 14 and was my daughter’s friend. He lived in a very difficult home environment and was not doing well in school. Sometimes, we took him to church. Sometimes, he would fall asleep at church. Sometimes, he would stay awake. Sometimes, he would actually listen.

It lasted for around a year. As it dwindled away, we lost touch.

Until this week — which was 24 years later.

He tapped on my car window as I was backing out of a parking space at a convenience store. Although he looked familiar, I hesitated. But, when he called out my name, I put the car window down to hear what he had to say. I am glad I did.

He told me his name.

My heart was filled with tenderness.

He began to explain, “I didn’t know what it was like to have a family. I didn’t know what a normal life was like. I didn’t know about going to church. I didn’t know about God. You showed me those things. It was all new to me. I am doing good. I have a job and a daughter and a home and I am doing the right things.”

He showed me her photo in his wallet. She was a beautiful sight to see.

He continued, “I am trying to teach her some things I learned from you.”

His next words, “You saved my life.”

The words brought tears to my eyes.

It was all new to me.

You saved my life.

His words also brought deeper spiritual understanding to my heart.

Small acts of kindness shown to a young teen had changed his life.

It was not a decision I had consciously made. It was a result of him being planted in my life and me responding with compassion. I did it without thinking. It was simple. And it introduced him to a different way of life that he later pursued.

Hearing this 14 year old as a now 38 year old — giving me credit for saving his life — was definitely a God moment reminding me to keep going. There is not a time to stop.

God used me to introduce him to Jesus.

And I was unaware that I was doing it.

Maybe we all do that more often than we realize.

Maybe some of those daily moments that we refer to as ‘having a lot to do today’ will end up being moments that will save someone’s life.

Isn’t that amazing?

Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

John 13:34 says, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

We may save a life.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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