The following story actually happened to me, and is more or less a blinding example of how a few words inspired by God can change someone else’s life, and yours.
It was a normal Thursday, and as I was in my 6th hour class, which is my ceramics art class, I realized I needed some reference pictures for the animal I was molding out of clay. So I asked my teacher if I could go to the library so I could print some pictures off. Naturally she said yes, so I set off to the library.
I arrived and took my usual computer facing towards the doors and away from the windows. I was minding my own business when a girl walked up and took the computer beside me. I paid no attention to it and continued my work. Some teacher’s class entered the library, and a boy, apparently one of the girl’s friends, walked up to her and started talking to her. I mostly ignored whatever it was they were talking about until the girl mentioned she had tried to commit suicide two days earlier. She said she had stopped herself. She also mentioned cutting her wrists, and sides. She showed her friend the scars, and I cringed. All her friend said was,
“You really need to stop that”
Now I’m not sure why, but after listening to this girl for a while, something moved in my heart. I knew I had to say something to her, but I had no idea how to say it.
I sat back, and while at war with myself in my head, I looked over at the girl. She was sort of classically Gothic, dark hair, dark eye shadow, a couple nose piercings. She must’ve noticed I was looking at her, because she kind of shifted uncertainly and said,
I literally sat there for a minute or two, working my jaw, trying to find the words to say. Finally I stuttered something out. In a whispering, shaky voice, so afraid, I said,
“What could make you hate life so much that you wouldn't want it?”
She sort of said, also vaguely and quiet,
“I have family problems”
“ I've known people who have family problems, but even then, death doesn't frighten you?”
(now personally I’m not frightened as much by death as the average human, because I have hope in Jesus, but I was pretty sure that didn't apply to this girl)
She nodded, “no, not really”
Even though she said no, I saw the hesitation in her eyes.
The following conversation is lost to me. For the life of me I cannot remember all that I said. I do however, remember when the tone of this encounter turned from very dark and foreboding, to hopeful. This is where I believe God spoke through me. I said to the girl,
“I don’t even know you, and I care for you. Even if you have somebody, or multiple someone’s, making your life horrible, there is an overwhelming amount of people who do care…there is always someone who cares.”
I did not know if I had said the correct thing, I had only spoke my heart, and so I wasn't sure if it had made any difference, but as I walked over to the printer, picked up my pictures, returned to my computer, logged off, and began to walk away, the girl spoke up and said,
And then, once again, as I walked out of the library, she repeated herself.
I smiled at her and walked back to class.
The last I saw of her, she was wearing brighter, happier clothes and makeup, laughing and talking with her friends as she walked to class. I haven’t had a chance to actually talk to her for an extended amount of time, but I've seen her in the halls occasionally, and I’m pretty sure I did the right thing. However, I doubt the work is all done, but I look forward to either seeing the girl completely changed, or if God wants to use me again, I think I would be willing to be used again, especially to save a life.
I think the main lesson for anyone to take away from this is
Don’t worry about these kinds of situations. When the time comes, God can and will speak through you, especially if you want to be used by Him. There is no way for you to know the future, and so you cannot prepare exact words that are guaranteed to work every time. However, you should still take every opportunity to help other; you never know how it will affect them.
“every step you are taking,
Every word that you are saying,
Every prayer that you are praying,
History is in the making.”