Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Good Samaritan—Cary Version

There’s this in-ground pool in our back yard. It contains no water but once upon a time it did and many fun memories still fill it. One day we will most likely have it filled in but, as of now, the money is not there. So it remains a gaping hole outside our back door.

Last Friday night, I came home after having my fabulous nails redone. Phil was at church so I came home to a semi-dark house and dogs in the backyard. Or at least there should have been dogs in the backyard. Mack was chained up but Daisy, who has never tried to hop the fence, was nowhere to be found. I called and called. No bark. Finally, I flipped on the outside lights and there she was in the bottom of the pool, very happy to see me. She still didn’t bark, though, but she panted hard. I imagine she got down there soon after Phil left and, having been trying to get out for sometime, she was too tired to bark.

In one of her other recent escapades, Daisy’s collar was ruined and I’ve yet to replace it so I had nothing to hook onto to pull her out. I looked around for the pool skimmer or other possible tools, but found nothing. Finally, out of ideas, I went down into the shallow end and sat at the edge of the ramp that ran to the deep end. I thought if I could coax her a little closer with some treats and I might then pull her up.

Instead, I slid down.

Did I mention this was a full-sized in-ground pool with a nine foot deep end?

At the expense of sounding clichéd, I tried repeatedly to scale the slippery slope to no avail. Then I figured, maybe if I took my shoes and socks off I could get better traction. Wrong again. Now I’m stuck in this hole with my shoes off, at night, in below normal temps for Phoenix (hey, it was cold!) and had no cell phone, no one else at home, and no means or ideas for escape. Phil wasn’t due home for more than an hour. Panic set in.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl prayed. And prayed. You remember the verse about praying without ceasing? I didn’t cease. However, the only answer I seemed to hear was to call out for help. I did. Loudly. Often. Still nothing.

Finally, after about twenty minutes, I heard a voice. “You need help?”

“Yes, please! I’m stuck in my pool and can’t get out!” It was a new twist on an old line but it was also true and I wasn’t thinking about how my dialogue would sound for posterity—I’ll work on it for the book version. “You'll have to jump the fence.” The back yard is surrounded by a six-foot block wall.

“Okay, I’ll be back in a minute.”

It was one of the longest minutes of my life.

Finally I heard him again. He’d brought reinforcements. Soon I could see him and his friend. They were concerned thinking I’d fallen in but before I could explain, they were coming to my rescue—right down that slippery slope.

Then they needed rescuing. Yep, they both slipped and were down at the deep end with me. Fortunately, they were taller than I am (most twelve year olds are). One of the men grabbed hold of the built in love seat and pulled himself up. Then he held out a stick for his friend who tucked my arm securely under his—my other hand wrapped around his bicep. Slowly, I slipped and slid to the top.

I was out, but that still left Daisy in the pool. She had shied away from the guys when they first joined us and I was becoming more concerned for her.

“Do you have a sheet?” one of the guys asked.

I ran into the house, grabbed one and hustled back. “Here.”

He shook it out and tossed an end to his buddy who was back in the pool with Daisy. The buddy coaxed her onto the sheet and together they got her up. They used the sheet to get the other guy out and then the shaking started. I shook from head to toe, even when I walked them to the front door (didn’t want my rescuers to have to jump the fence again). I remembered to thank them over and over and to ask their names—none of which stuck with me.

And then they were gone.

When I finally calmed, I knew I needed to thank them better than just parroting “thank you thank you thank you.” So I bought a card and some cookies (you don’t want to eat my baking) and began my search for my rescuers. Now, Phil and I know the neighbors around us but over the back fence and on the next street, not so much. After two unproductive trips, my husband finally suggested the house. The one where the police show up every so often. The one where neighborhood gossip has them doing all sorts of illegal things. That house.

Well, I hadn’t tried that house so I decided I might as well. Bingo!

The thing is these are the only people who heard my cry for help and answered. I saw lights go on in other houses as I called but no one inquired or risked getting involved. Plus these guys didn’t just live on the other side of the alley. They lived across the street in back of my house so my voice apparently carried. I don’t know why the police show up at their house occasionally though I could guess right along with my neighbors—the ones who didn’t answer my cries. Or I can thank these men and speak blessings over them and share the love of God through my actions. God certainly blessed me by drawing them toward my need. It makes me wonder if the Good Samaritan felt he was repaying a debt to someone who had helped him once. I don’t know, but I am thankful and pray somehow they do see God’s love in our meeting. I sure do.

Abundant blessings!


Jennifer Tiszai said...

That is definitely one to go in a book, Girl! I'm glad you've recovered and even got to thank your Samaritans.

Heather said...

this cracked me up!

Anonymous said...

Oh what a roller coaster of emotions! First I'm laughing (and snorting) and feeling sorry for you, but knowing how it would feel because it sounds strange enough to happen to me, but then I'm crying by the end.

Oh, the connections our God makes. He knows what He's doing.

And listen, if you're going to keep making me cry, I'm going to need waterproof mascara!!

Malia Spencer said...

Oh my goodness! I'm glad you guys are okay. What an odd adventure. But hey, it's a great thing to put in a book right?

BTW are the nails okay?

Jenny said...

Jen, I even tried to figure out how to get it into this one but no go--this episode will have to be featured in something upcoming. And, Heather, now that it's over I can laugh about it--I really can! But I shed some tears too, Michelle--Just ask Jen (I called her to stay on the line until Phil got home!)And maybe we both should be investing in waterproof mascara--been to your site, too, girl. Malia, thanks for thinking of the fab nails--I was coming home from getting them done and lost a stone off my right middle finger out of this mess but I'm not going to replace it until I get them done again (silver with red rhinestones, BTW). It's a subtle (kinda) reminder of what I learned.
Love you guys!

:-)Ronie said...

Wow, ya know--what an open door for ministry. I know that sounds silly with all you went through, but man! That's such a great (and amusing) story. LOL

Anonymous said...

Definitely has to go in a book! Have you stopped laughing yet?

Phil said...

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Just had to add my 2 cents!

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Gee, that sounds like something Phil would say. Good thing we all know about your dry sense of humor.

Jenny said...

It's a good thing you're cute, and that's all I'm gonna say about that O Husband of Mine.

(thanks for standing up for me, Jen:-)

Cynthia, I may have to write a whole new book just to get that scene in it!

Ronie, you're right. I drove past their house tonight and couldn't resist. One of the guys was outside so I stopped in front, powered down my window, and promised I would stay out of the pool tonight. He laughed and waved. My prayer is that they will see Jesus in me, in my actions, my demeanor, in my words.

Thanks for stopping by, guys (even you, Phil).

Anonymous said...

Hey JC - this is a GREAT illustration for my Bible Study discussion from yesterday, so I'm giving them all the assignment to read your blog. =)
What WOULD I do without you!???!!!