Ann Farabee: The emergency room

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2020

By Ann Farabee
For the Salisbury Post

Sometimes, going to the emergency room is our only choice. As I sat, I sensed a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness in the great crowd of people. Some slept in chairs. Some were covered from head to toe in blankets. Most were in obvious pain.

But I mostly remember the one who cried, “Help me! Please!” It was haunting and the begging for help was non-stop. Those in the waiting room tried to ignore it, but one person finally had all she could take and yelled out, “Will you stop?” He was silent for a second, but then the cry for help started again, and grew even louder.

Later, as someone called out his name, his relief was obvious. He cast away his blanket. He rose. He went to receive help.

I am not sure what happened next, but I imagine he was asked, “What can I do to help you?” I am sure he told them his need. And since I saw him leaving the hospital an hour later, I would imagine they had met his need — and told him to go home.

He had come to the emergency room. He cried out for help. Help came.

In Mark 10:46-52, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was in a crowd with a great number of people. He heard there was one who could help. He cried, “Jesus, have mercy on me!” The crowd yelled at him to stop, but he cried even louder, “Jesus, have mercy on me!”

Jesus called for him. Bartimaeus cast away his garment. He rose. He went. When Jesus asked what he could do for him, he asked to receive his sight. Jesus told him to go his way — his faith had made him whole.

Both men — the man in the waiting room and Bartimaeus — had gone to their emergency room in a time of desperation to beg for help.

In desperate and helpless times, scheduling an appointment for later is not good enough — our need for help is immediate. That is when we go to our emergency room, and beg, “Help me, please! Jesus, have mercy on me!”

The emergency room prayer is a sincere, short, heartfelt prayer that cries out for help from our heavenly father. It is a prayer that expresses our faith in God, as we ask him to deliver us from trouble. It often comes at a time that we feel we cannot even pray, for helplessness and hopelessness have overwhelmed. The emergency room prayer has few words — but many tears.

Have you been there? Yeah, me too. We have all been in our emergency room, and needed our emergency room prayer. God hears it. God holds it dear to his heart. God wants us to pray it.

Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee.”

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