You Are Not Alone
By Janice Price
In my mind, I can picture Moses as he stood before the burning bush telling God he was inadequate for the task God was appointing him to undertake because he was slow of speech and not an eloquent speaker. I am not an eloquent speaker either, but I am definitely not slow of speech. In fact, when I am nervous, my brain goes into idle and my mouth shifts into fast forward. I was drafted as secretary of the neighborhood watch because I can take notes, not because I can read them at a speed they can be understood.
Like Moses, I would not voluntarily speak in public - particularly on a controversial subject - but sometimes we have to rise above timidity and speak out, perhaps even take action.
Several years ago, I lived in a big city, in an apartment complex with severe safety issues – things like broken outside cement stair steps, collapsing ceilings from a leaking roof, and water collecting in some light fixtures when it rained. None of us could afford to move, but something had to be done to spur the owner into making repairs he knew were necessary but refused to make. For reasons I won’t go into here, I made the decision to report the owner to the city, knowing I would have to stand alone. The other tenants could stand behind me in “spirit” only, and one way or another I would have to move.
Just as soon as the first inspector left, management began a campaign of harassment, intimidation and threats. It was one of the most terrifying times I have ever been through, but the city persevered and, eventually, the necessary repairs were made. By that time, I was living elsewhere.
Today, I live in a small city where the modern building code does not apply to this old mill house, built in 1926. My landlord and his wife are likeable people. I hate the thought of making trouble for them, but they do not respond to phone calls or letters about the condition of this rental house.
Eight months ago a tree branch fell onto the electric line, tearing the electric line loose and damaging the pole on the house. Last week I asked for something specific to spur the landlord into action. I was told, “The city electric company said if the pole is not replaced and another branch falls on the line, or with the right set of circumstances, the house will burn.” That is pretty specific. I left that message and the landlord has still not responded.
I am not in a position, either physically (my energy level has been at least six feet underground again for weeks) or financially, to move. And even if I could move before “the right set of circumstances” arise, a new tenant would move in who has no idea of the danger.
Everywhere I turn, I am told there is nothing I can do about this situation (a situation that is only the “icing” on the problems of the summer). So I asked a few friends to pray.
Vicki Gaines, a fellow Crossmap writer, posted a prayer request on her blog site. You can read “Calling all prayer warriors!” archived under October 11, 2005, on http://windowstomysoul.blogspot.com/ . I learned about this post from one of the messages it generated on my Mercy and Percy site.
I was touched to tears by Vicki’s concern and her desire for me “to feel the love of all the saints while experiencing the mighty provision of our Jehovah Jireh (the God who provides!)."
I was encouraged by her reminder that “our Lord is able to make a way when there seems to be no way.”
And her comment, “Jan, you are not alone!” - it was a reminder of that frightful time I did stand alone. Oh, David, an engineer, helped initially and he received well-deserved praise from his peers. Other friends prayed and neighbors gave moral support from a distance, but when I returned to the apartment, I was alone. I don’t know if anyone ever knew how absolutely terrified I was. I spent a lot of time in the Bible and in prayer through that ordeal. I can’t imagine what might have happened without God’s protection.
It is not necessarily a good idea to post a public prayer request without permission, but Vicki, thankfully, was discreet.
“Jan, you are not alone.” How could Vicki know those words would have a special meaning and be the most encouraging? She did not know. But God did.
© 2005 Janice Price