I Dare You!

“At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow…

and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord.”

– Philipians 2:9-11

When I first saw Noel I thought she was a ghost. She lay beneath a pile of bloody sheets. Her wrists had been opened by a crisscrossed pattern of oozing red lashes that were seemingly self-inflicted. With pasty white skin and a fixed unseeing gaze, she looked beyond help, a lost spirit in a living corpse drained of blood and life. She said she wanted to die. I couldn’t allow that.

I knelt beside the bed and took her hand. I was surprised at how limp it felt. Her skin was cool and dry, her pulse, weak and slow. Her red-rimmed eyes seemed to peer right through me as if I weren’t even there. I felt a dark, foreboding presence as if death loomed all about us. I felt a chill pass through me as I gently dressed her wounds. I explained her circumstances, that whether or not she agreed with me, I would be transporting her to the hospital. Of course, she resisted.

“Please, just let me die.”

“I can’t do that,” I said.

“I’m not going,” she said with a frown. “Please, just leave me alone.”

“You have no choice, Noel. When you hurt yourself, you lost the right to make that decision.”

The look of deep depression returned to her face. I sensed total hopelessness. I had never seen such a void in someone’s eyes.

“Look, it’ll be okay. My partner will give us an easy ride in.” I glanced at Kevin and received an agreeable nod. “All we’ll do is talk,” I assured her. “And if you want, we’ll say a prayer.”

That seemed to get her attention. She looked up and gazed at me with eyes full of confusion. I sensed I had hit a nerve. I knew I should tell her about Jesus, but sudden fear stopped me. Can I say that here? Say Jesus? I glanced at the other rescue workers—the firefighters and cops. What would they think of me? I wondered. I silently prayed for strength.

As if led by an unseen hand, Noel climbed out of the bed and followed me from the room. I climbed into the back of the ambulance and buckled her into her seat. And as promised, our ride to the ER was simple. No IV bags were spiked, no ECG monitors were attached, and no medications were pushed. We just talked. I told her about my life, and how God had given me hope. I told her that Jesus loved me and about how he had had changed my life. And then with a racing heart I finally I said, “Noel, Jesus loves you, too.”

And that’s when it happened. Her eyes grew wide. She said, “I want that!” And as we sped toward the hospital on that cloudy Saturday afternoon, Noel held my hands and prayed to Jesus Christ.

*

My partner’s chin dropped when he opened the rear doors of the ambulance. But of course, I understood why. Noel looked like a different person. Her eyes beamed. Her previously washed out face looked strong and pink. She had been transformed from death to life in the back of Medic-70, by the mere utterance of a word…the name of Jesus Christ. But it didn’t stop there. We entered the ER and joined a long line of stretchers waiting to be triaged. My radio crackled and reported an incoming trauma. A few moments later the doors opened and a stretcher rolled in bearing the body of a critical patient. Noel gasped as the sight. “Poor guy,” she exclaimed.

“No,” I said, “Noel! You can begin your ministry now. Pray for him.”

“Really?” she exclaimed. “I can do that?”

Noel bowed her head, but instead of praying silently she offered that prayer out loud. A few heads turned and glanced our way. I felt a twinge of embarrassment, and felt somewhat relieved when she finally finished. But then I felt a push.

“Noel,” I exclaimed. “In whose name?”

“In Jesus name!” she shouted. “I pray in Jesus name!”

This time everyone in triage turned and looked our way. I saw a few smiles of encouragement, but also a few angry frowns. But I no longer cared. I felt simply astonished by what had happened, and I still feel that way today. There’s power in that name, man, I’m telling you. There’s incredible power in that name.

Why do we ever cower? Jesus is the name above every name. And one day, at the mere mention of that name, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. Every Christian must remember that. There’s power in the name of Jesus, marvelous, life-changing power, hope, and salvation. Jesus died and rose that we might live. He’s my savior, and now He’s Noel’s too.

I have a challenge for you: If you know Jesus Christ, it’s your turn. Go out and tell someone else about Him. And be bold, man. Say it. Say the name, Jesus.

I dare you!

 

 

For more of my writings, please visit my website at

http://www.pat-patterson-books.com/

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