Most mornings I go for a bit of a bike ride around Rolleston. It is generally uneventful. Other than sore muscles and an occasional truck passing too close at 100 km/hr there is generally nothing to report.
This morning was very different. About 15kms into my ride I came across a very distraught lady. She was in the middle of the road, it was raining, and she was calling for help. I immediately stopped thinking there must have been a car accident, though I didn’t see any cars. The first words I heard were, “help, he’s after me, I need help!” I looked down the empty rural road and about 500 metres away I could see a man standing looking in our direction. The lady said she needed me to ring her Dad. I asked for the number. This is when I realised she was very intoxicated. She couldn’t remember the number, she couldn’t find her phone, and she was increasingly making less sense.
I rang the police (111). As soon as I did this she began yelling and screaming at me, cursing me, telling me to hang up… “she didn’t want no cops here”!
Once she realised I wasn’t going to hang up she sat on the ground and said nothing more, though she was clearly still angry.
I stayed on the line answering a series of questions, standing in the rain waiting until the police arrived. They arrive in good time, spoke with me briefly and immediately dealt with the situation. I then rode the rest of the way home in more rain and wind!
In the providence of God, I don’t think the lady had actually be attacked or anything very serious. There had clearly been a threat and a serious argument. It is very likely things would have gotten worse if help had not arrived. This is what I thought about on my ride home…
How similar this lady’s reaction was when I rang the police to my reaction to those who try to help me when I am drunk with my own sin.
Proverbs speaks to this:
Proverbs 9:7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. 8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
Proverbs 17:10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
Proverbs 17:12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.
Proverbs 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Proverbs 26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
How often I have been the fool. So intoxicated with my own sin that when a person tries to help me I lash out against them as though they are the problem!
Oh for the grace of Christ which works a work of humble repentance. I pray the next time I am lovingly (or not) rebuked I will respond with humility and repentance showing a hatred toward sin rather than being intoxicated with it!