The lifeguard. The rescue. The save. Oh how it’s all so easy to talk about after being a guard for 10 years. But today, I realize that my talk is cheap when someone is crying out.
It’s so easy to see others bobbing up and down in trouble. I see them fighting the water, the waves. I see them battling their addictions, alcohol, drugs and yet I just watch hoping that they’ll eventually make it to safety.
It’s so easy for me to sit in my high and mighty guard stand.
I sit all perched, back up straight, and eyes steady on a wavering soul. I’m ready for a rescue, but the rescue never comes in the way I think it should come. After all these years, shouldn’t it be easy to spot a drowning victim?
But tonight, I find myself sick. Almost like a nauseating seasickness as I’ve realized that I have sat and watched someone thrash around and call out for help for weeks now and I’ve done nothing.
My backwards thinking.
While my friend thrashes around in her addiction, I give comforting words. My friend says she wants to give it up as the battle is too hard. I encourage her and pat her on the back as I say, “You can do this! I know you can. You were created for so much more than this.”
She tells me she can’t live this way any longer and I pray with her. Deep prayers.
Days later, she calls and says the drug has consumed her. She can’t stop on her own now even if she wants that she needs professional help as the detox is too dangerous. I cheer her on — yay, she’s talking detox!
This is a great step. She realizes she needs help and she calls her family together to help. The family agrees, but keeps on drugging up around her. Keeps the stream of dealers coming around.
The family calls me and we meet for what seems like an intervention. It’s all so easy to see. She needs help. She’s asking for help. She’s begging for help.
She’s waiting on you.
As I visit with the family, I silently wonder why she just doesn’t get help? She’s cried out long enough, surely she’s ready. The conversation seems so frustrating to me. If you know you need help – then check yourself in for help, my mind wants to scream. But no one wants to take that step. Exasperated I finally say, “If she is serious about help, I will make a call tomorrow and see if we can get her in to rehab.”
It seemed so easy. Why didn’t they do it? Why didn’t she do it?
The sister turns to me and whispers, “She was waiting on you!”
My lifeguard status needs to be revoked.
To sit there and see someone bobbing up and down and do nothing is incomprehensible. You can only holler SWIM so many times before it is offensive!
And there I stood, hand-in-hand, sweetly whispering over and over You Can Do This, but NEVER offering assistance. Never grabbing her hand and helping her get to to the side of the pool. Never assuring her I was there for her and showing it by my actions.
Oh sweet fellow lifeguards, don’t just holler down from your high guard stands — jump in! Your actions speak louder than our words! [tweet that]
QUESTION: Is there some way you can jump in now to help another?
After wrestling with the word rescue for months, I decided to bring this word to life. I’ll expose the truths stirring in my soul regarding this daring, venturesome, and fearless word. Oh how I’d love your input too!