November 16, 2009
by Pam Mytroen
I still remember the rescue. My sister and I along with my sister-in-law decided to wander off the path of Vancouver’s Lynn Canyon. Rays of sunshine fell short of penetrating the river snaking far below the suspension bridge but the shadowed blue ribbon beckoned us to a foolish dip in its cool embrace.
An innocent trickle plummeted off the cliff beside me as I leaped. Cold greedy water pulled me under and mocked me in its rebuke: “Don’t you know better?” It forgave me, though, as it tossed me back up, but I’ll never forget its icy slap. It let me swim to the next cliff and jump again. But this time mercy shook its head. When I dove I slipped and landed short of my aim. Rocks under the dark water sliced into my knee.
Numb, I swam to shore and collapsed when I tried to stand. I gazed up at the suspension bridge as a line-up of tiny-specked people began to form. The fire department held them back from crossing the bridge. A police siren echoed throughout the canyon walls. And finally, a team of paramedics rapelled their way down to me.
Onlookers from the cliffs shouted down encouragement. One generous guy threw down his t-shirt to wrap my knee. White bone protruded through my skin. Warm red blood soaked the shirt. My brother, who had stayed behind us ‘silly girls’ now joined me. I felt guilty for putting the rest of my family in danger as they had to continue jumping off the cliffs until they could reach the bottom of the canyon where a path would lead them out.
However, I was grateful for the harness and the paramedic who made a pathway for me up the steep rocky side of the mountain.
For several days after the rescue I shivered whenever I thought of what I had been saved from. The shock of icy water and the smash of my skull against granite filled my dreams. Death left an aftertaste of fear.
The Vancouver team showed great compassion and care in their rescue efforts but that was several years ago now and I seldom think of them anymore.
However, I should never forget my rescuer Jesus. Paul reminds us that He “rescued us from this evil world in which we live” (Galatians 1:4b).
How often do I think of the grip of sin that Jesus plucked me from? Do I shiver when I remember the icy-depths of selfishness that threatened to drown me? When was the last time I woke up damp with fear?
Maybe God needs to open my eyes to the darkness around me, and my ears to the cries of others who are drowning, so that I will appreciate my Savior.
Thank you Lord Jesus that you rescued me from the cold winter of greed, from the bitterness of pleasure, and from the darkness of death. You rescued me unto light, freedom and life. May I ever be mindful of your strong Hands around me, and of your selfless saving act. Touch me with the sting of sin that I appreciate the spring of new life. Amen.