You May Rescue, You May Save

You and I are charged to be the rescuing ministers to these fainting, struggling seamen. We can deliver the assurance of peace, along with a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on.

Last week, I saw an older woman in a brightly colored dress walking on the side of a busy road. I pulled over and asked if she needed a ride. The woman responded in another language—Haitian Creole—so I pointed at the passenger seat and motioned for her to get in.

We drove into Sun City and I tried pointing to different stores to see where she wanted to go. She gave no reply, but seemed lost and unsure about where we were. After a few minutes of this, I realized I couldn’t do much to help her, so I flipped the car around and headed back to where I had found her. As we drove back, I pointed at a few objects and sounded out the English names: “telephone” and “shirt”. Then, spotting a blimp in the sky, I pointed up to it and smiled.

“Avyon,” she said, smiling.

I dropped her back off on the side of the road where had I found her and we shook hands. As I drove away, I felt that I had failed—I just wanted to give the woman a ride, but I didn’t seem to have helped her much.

I ran a few errands and then took a different route home. To my surprise, I saw her walking on the side of the road again! Just as I passed her, another car pulled over, presumably to ask her if she needed help.

For a few seconds I continued on my way, guessing that the driver would come to the same conclusion I had. Then, all of a sudden, I felt that there was still more I could do more for the woman. I turned around.

As I pulled up behind the other car, the man who had pulled over was trying to communicate with the lost woman. I got out and introduced myself, explaining that I had also stopped for her an hour ago. Daniel, his name was, suggested that since neither of us spoke Creole, we should call the non-emergency police line.

We listened to the dispatcher together on speakerphone, who told us that he would be sending two officers over in a few minutes. Daniel said that he would stay with her until they came, so I gave him my phone number and asked him to keep me updated.

Later that night, Daniel texted me saying that woman had actually been a missing person that the police and her family were looking for. I said a silent prayer thanking the Lord that He had allowed me to play a small part in her rescue.

As I began to think about this wandering woman who was lost in a foreign country without anyone who spoke her language, I was reminded of the familiar hymn that also describes a group of wanderers who are desperately in need of help. This favorite hymn admonishes us to be the rescuers of these tempest-tossed brothers and sisters whose eager eyes are longing for any sign of assistance:

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
(Hymns, 335)

While most people we will come in contact with will be physically aware of their surroundings, all people have unsettled fears in their hearts that cause them to cry out, “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” (D&C 121:1)

You and I are charged to be the rescuing ministers to these fainting, struggling seamen. We have the gospel. We can deliver the assurance of peace, along with a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. The Savior set an example of this when Mary fell at His feet and cried, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Even though the Savior knew that her brother would soon live again, His heart languished for her, and the scriptures simply state, “Jesus wept” (John 11:21,35).

May we remove from ourselves the tendency to be selfish, and instead focus on the needs of others. As we do so, our self-esteem will increase, our lives will be more fulfilling, and we will feel the Holy Ghost in greater measure.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.

Cristian Torres

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