What’s your favorite “ticking-time-bomb” movie? You know, the one where an unsuspecting victim is counting on a valiant hero to show up just before a digital display, on an explosive device, hits zero. I recently re-watched Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in “Speed”. It ranks among the best of the genre because Dennis Hopper’s portrayal of one especially bad, bad-guy plants 5 separate bombs before the end credits roll. It’s also tops because it’s especially effective in showing the unique stresses felt by each individual trapped on a bus that will explode if the speed drops below 50mph. We love ticking-time-bombs….for two hours or so….and when popcorn is involved.
I was recently told, “You have a ticking-time-bomb in your mouth.” The dentist didn’t want me to delay seeking out a root canal, so he chose the very specific warning. It worked and I began to faithfully take an infection fighting prescription and to quickly look into my options for the procedure. In the process, I considered what it must be like to live with other sorts of ticking-time-bombs. Can you begin to imagine the prolonged stresses of homelessness? To be entrapped by a virtual ticking that never stops?
Sometimes the ticking is counting down the impending doom of a fragile physical ailment…or possibly marking the moments before an emotional or mental implosion. Many residents come to the City Mission with a trail of relationships that hang by a thread. The anxiety of financial stresses can combine with the painful remnants of friendships and family ties which have been severed. I’m sure some residents arrive with a clock that has been running very low when it comes to the “minutes” still left in their spiritual faith in a loving God.
I like to believe that the Mission’s tireless efforts are able to lessen the anxieties for those who seek out help there. Like Keanu Reeves stepping with a badge of authority into a dangerous situation, the staff can speak peaceful truths which drown out incessant ticking. With no dental insurance and a dangerous infection, it took a team of family members, generous professionals, and even a former co-worker to aid me and solve some of my timely problems. What a blessing to know volunteers, staff and donors combine resources at the Mission. They take heroic action, diffusing dangerous situations each day for residents.
Ticking-time-bomb situations should only be entertaining at a movie theatre. When we encounter real-life scenarios, let’s equip ourselves with compassion and work together to alleviate the stresses of others
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control.
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
-Horatio G. Spafford
Written by: Lisa Crawford, community member
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