I had just put baby Mason down for his morning nap. The house was completely quiet. It usually is on Saturday mornings when Josh takes the older three out for a couple hours. I always savor these quiet moments; they are very rare these days! I sat down to catch up on some e-mails. Suddenly, I heard terrible screaming!
We live right by the main road, so my first thoughts were that maybe someone had fallen off their motor bike and had injured themselves. The screaming continued.
I ran to the front gate, peered over, and saw a terrible sight. A young lady was curled up in a ball, with a man over her, beating her, and pulling her hair. When he saw me, he took a few steps back. Everyone who was driving by slowed down, but NO ONE stopped to help! The wailing continued. My heart began to race as I considered what I should.
I quickly changed out of my tank-top and yoga pants into something more appropriate. I grabbed my phone to call Josh. I asked the Lord for wisdom.
I ran back to our front gate- the man had returned to the lady and was now kicking her and throwing hard punches.
By this time, about 5 minutes had passed, and several people had gathered to watch. I could not believe that no one was helping this lady.
I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew I had to do something. I started to cross the street. This particular road is pretty busy, so it took me a little time to weave through the oncoming bikes and cars. During these few moments, I prayed.
When I got to the woman, she was shaking. Her lips quivered. Her body was limp. The man stood over her. He looked anxious and angry. He approached me, screaming. He shouted his story, trying to justify his actions. I walked past him, knelt down, and put my arms around the woman to protect her from any further blows.
I didn’t to try to talk or reason with this very angry man. I just stayed on the ground covering the woman. Meanwhile, ten others had gathered around us. People in the crowd starting shouting out their opinion. It was overwhelming.
During this commotion, I told the woman that she was welcome to come to my home, where she would be safe. But she was still shaking and so weak that I don’t think she understood what I was saying. I then made eye-contact with one of the men in the crowd. I told him that I wanted to get the lady away from the angry man.
I was so relieved when he agreed to help. I tried lifting the woman myself, but I couldn’t because my legs were shaking so badly. Finally, with some help, I put the lady’s arms around my neck. I was feeling so weak and shaking so much, I remember praying, “Lord, help me get across this street without falling!” The man and I carried her across the busy road to my home.
I sat the lady on our couch and got her some water and ice packs. After a little while, she began to talk. She said her name was Tintin. She said her back and neck hurt. I could see marks all over her arms and legs.
After a few minutes, Tintin stopped shaking and her lips stopped quivering. She told me that the man who had beat her was her husband . She said they had been arguing. She said this was the first time he hit her.
After about an hour, the marks on Tintin’s arms and legs turned purple with bruising. She could barely move her right arm; I wondered if it was broken. I asked her if she wanted to lay down and rest or if she would like to take a shower. I also suggested that we go to the police. She told me she wanted to go home. I gave her some money for the taxi, and she was gone.
This happened three weeks ago, and it has continued to weigh heavy on my mind. I wonder how Tintin is recovering. I wonder why the Lord brought her into my life. I wonder why I didn’t verbally share the gospel with her that day.
But the Lord has given me a peace that what I did do pleased Him. From the moment I heard the screams, my thoughts were heavenward. I sought Him during that trying hour. I looked to Him in desperation. I’ve been reminded of a verse I memorized many years ago:
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, LORD,
my Rock and my Redeemer.
I thank God He directed my mind toward Him in the time of crisis. I thank Him He gave me opportunity to care for Tintin. I’m grateful He uses our thoughts and actions as well as our words to bring honor to His glorious name.
I’ve been thinking about all the different ways God is calling me to bear the gospel to the people in my life. I am to give and live the gospel with my children as I seek to direct their thoughts to Jesus, to be merciful and gentle when I discipline them, governing my own actions to be patient and kind – especially at the end of the day when I’m entirely exhausted. I am to bear the gospel to my husband by being helpful and compassionate, encouraging him as he leads our family. I am to bear the gospel to my neighbors, my co-workers, and all those God may bring into my life – even if it’s just for an hour.