Earlier today, I received a text message from my cousin Cindy asking me to pray for her and she then continued to share a horrifying experience. About an hour after her text was sent we spoke on the phone and we prayed. A few hours ago, after the chaos, she was able to share details with me that would become today's post. I asked her to write her experience and email it to me. May God speak to your heart through Cindy's story:
April 10, 2011
Let me start by saying that God’s always good about putting me in situations to bluntly teach me things.
I woke up at 4 am this morning to study for an exam that would determine whether I would pass or fail my Stats 1 class. My scholarship riding on whether I passed or failed the class, I was motivated to review as much of the information I could before I took the dreaded exam.
After all the studying, I blanked out on the exam and turned it in incomplete. I left the class discouraged and drove off campus worried about where God was leading my life. I decided that I needed to spend some alone time with God and went to a park close to school.
Once at the park, I grabbed my bible, Ipod, and phone, and began to walk over to the swing set located in the middle of the park. The only person visible in the entire park was an elderly man with a walker standing under a covered patio nearby with his car parked behind him. As I got closer, I became a little skeptical of the man. What would an elderly man be doing alone in a park, I thought.
Being the only girl in the park, I didn’t think it was wise to get too close to a man with no one else around, but he hadn’t moved in the minute I had been looking at him. I put on my headphones, and decided it would be best to pretend that I was casually jogging by. As I got closer, a brown rope became more visible, and what I thought was a walker was a step ladder! He was hanging! Fear sunk in. My immediate reaction was to run to a man in orange that had been smoothing out the red sand in the baseball field.
As I told the man in orange what I saw, and pointed in the direction of the hanging body, he quickly pulled out his phone and called 911. We began to hurry over in the direction of the elderly man, and another park employee ran toward us as we neared the covered patio. The man in orange passed the phone to the park employee, and ran in the direction of his car. The officer on the phone screamed at the park employee, yelling to cut the elderly man down. I ran towards the elementary school with the park employee and motioned for the teacher to take her students inside. The man in orange returned with a machete and passed it to the park employee who cut the elderly man down as the man in orange caught him. They laid him on the ground, and within a few minutes we were surrounded by cops and paramedics who tried to bring the man back to life.
It was too late. He successfully took his life.
One of the cops motioned me over and proceeded to question what I had seen and why I had been at the park. Aware that God had me there for a reason, I shared with the officer and many others that questioned me later that I had gone to the park to read my bible, and became suspicious when I saw that the elderly man wasn’t moving. The officer then commented on how I seemed so calm, and how I was able to explain the deaths that I had already dealt with.
The entire time I stood there waiting for homicide detectives to arrive, I couldn’t believe the situation that I had found myself in. I had heard of suicides many times before, but never did I imagine that I would witness a scene like that. In fact, at the very moment that I was worrying about keeping a scholarship this elderly man was contemplating and successfully committing suicide. Looking down at the elderly man that took his life, I began to compare the life of the unbeliever to the believer. One can’t go on for very long without a Savior that promises eternity, a future, and a hope. One could go many years chasing after dreams and bettering life on earth, but nothing else guarantees true joy the way that Jesus does. Trying to better this life and walking away from God is like walking into the hands of a murderer that is meticulously waiting to take your life.
In fact, Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
After inviting the man in orange and the park employee to church, I drove away from the park in awe that God would use me, an unworthy sinner, in a way like that. I knew that even the fact that I failed my exam today happened for a reason. If I didn’t, I would’ve never walked on to that park or been able to share the strength the Lord gave me.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
Please join me in praying for the old man’s family. Thank you.
*If you are hopeless and/or contemplating a way out of life, please email me.
Your life matters and you are valuable.