“000 Ambulance what town or suburb?”
Umm I need your help.
“Can you tell me whats happened?”
“It’s my ex. She’s threatening suicide. She keeps sending me videos and messages. I am worried about her. She is not returning my calls. It looks like there are cuts all over her body. She needs help. I can’t get into her apartment block. I am not sure she is alive.”
“Okay sir I am arranging help. The ambulance is on its way. The police will be there as well to assist.”
What a frightening situation.
I have the opportunity as a Chaplain with NSW Ambulance to hear some incredibly sad and vulnerable situations. No one is really calling 000 if something has gone right are they? Well they could do, but its not appropriate.
I was listening in on this particular call, sitting alongside the brave call taker as she talked the man through this situation. Nerves of steel, calmly communicating with him. Somehow in the space of less than five minutes, she had ascertained the problem and sent communication to the necessary people. She had cut through the emotion of the situation by providing solid truth. Help was coming.
She had met the man who had called 000 in a terrifying moment for him. She met vulnerability with a clear, concise plan to help. She cut through the emotional tension of the situation to bring truth. She sent help. She did all she could in the moment.
She knew she couldn’t put an end to the suffering, but she could do as much as she could to help.
Separating our suffering from our identity
I know this other bloke called Jesus who tends to do the same thing.
He meets us in the midst of our chaos.
He hears our emergency call.
He hears the panic in our voice. He hears our desperation, our vulnerability.
But he sees us for more than the pain we are in.
We are more than the moment of pain we are in.
Our pain certainly shapes us, gives us passion, directs us in life. But it does not define us.
What’s the difference?
When Jesus was crucified, he wasn’t just the guy who died.
In his identity, he was known as the Son of Man, Christ, Lord, Master, Logos, Lamb of God.
In his identity, he defined love, holiness, wisdom, compassion and obedience.
In his identity, he was peaceful, humble, patient, gentle
In his identity, he displayed courage, bravery, gratitude, honesty.
In his earthly situation, he was crucified for our sins. This did not change his titles, characteristics and identity.
He did not lose his value because of his earthly situation.
The man who called 000 because he was not sure if his ex was alive is more than his moment of suffering.
Our earthly suffering and vulnerability does not change our identity. It can certainly shape us, but it does not have to define us.
The book of John, chapter 16 verse 33 encapsulates this mantra. Jesus had spent some time insinuating to his disciples that there will be a time where he would not be there with them, but he would come again. He wraps this up by saying to them they will have peace. Jesus tells his disciples in this world they will have trouble, but Jesus had overcome the world. The disciples were to take heart from this.
What happened to Jesus did not change his identity.
What happens to you does not change your identity in him.
May the love and peace of Jesus strengthen and comfort you during your struggles.
Remember, you are more than this moment.