"City Ambulance, respond to 423 Main Street for a lift assist.” The dispatch, followed by high-pitched tones on my handheld radio, alerted me of the need for medical help.
In my area, there are about 20 prehospital medical professionals who respond to the emergency calls. Volunteers with our local ambulance service all have personal lives and family. When an emergency happens, it’s not always at the most convenient time.
On several occasions the tones have awakened me during the night. “How inconvenient, I need my rest.” And yet someone could be dying because I don’t feel like getting out of bed to go and help.
This time, when the tones went out, I looked at my watch. “I really don’t have time for a call, it doesn’t sound too serious,” I thought. “Certainly someone else will respond.”
Usually when a call goes out, several volunteers will acknowledge on the radio that they are responding to help. “Unit 15 responding … unit 12 responding…” - each unit represents a volunteer who has stopped what they are doing and are responding to this emergency.
This call was different. The radio was silent. No one was responding. Apparently everyone was busy with their lives, work, and family—too busy to help someone in need.
How often are we like that? Do we allow inconvenience to keep us from sharing Christ? We’re just not ready?
When we became Christians, each of us joined the “volunteer ambulance force” to help people’s spiritual needs. When we listen to the Holy Spirit impressing us, do we make excuses and deny that call to “go into all the world”?
Two volunteers were just sitting down to eat lunch. One volunteer was busy fixing a dirt bike. Another volunteer was getting ready to go to work. Everyone had things they needed to do. The silence over the radio was deafening. For the first time since I’ve been on the department, no one was responding.
Then the dispatcher broke the radio silence: “Incoming units, be advised the patient is unit one.” Those words changed everything. Instantly five volunteers, including me, radioed that they were responding. What made the difference? We knew the patient.
How many times do we as Christians make excuses why we don’t want to reach the lost? The scene changes when we put on our spiritual glasses and see them as our own family, for certainly this is as Christ sees them.
Will it inconvenience us? Probably. But when God calls, “Who will go?” We must answer just like Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).