Thursday, May 12, 2011

Recently, between classes I turned on my cell phone to hear a message that immediately stung my eyes with painful tears. Before I was saved by our Savior I lived in a neighborhood I like to call Satan’s playground. Out of the 25 to 30 people I swapped drugs and crime with over a third of them are dead.

Back in 2005, I was in jail with Jen. We had committed crimes together, used drugs together and served time together. Difference was that Jen was pregnant with her fifth and unwanted child. Ironically, my Aunt R agreed to adopt this baby, even though he or she was probably addicted to heroin and cocaine. This bonded us Jen and I were now really a family in some strange, but special way. So much so that Jen had put on her jail information that I was her next-of-kin contact number.

Once released I accepted God and left Jen behind to fight the battle of the streets with other addicts. Well, Jen remained mad at God and commented that the only thing He could do for her was “take her out of this mess.” Just last week, God complied with her request.

When I called the number back, my jaw dropped and my heart was heavy as I heard the detective share the reports and limited information he had. I then called my Aunt R who immediately said, “I want to give Jen a proper funeral.”Then my aunt asked me questions that suffocated me, “Can you find her body?” and “Lisa, will you indentify her?”

All I knew was what the Detective had said, “Jen was in a pick-up truck on the track, took a shot of bad heroin, and began having a seizure. The man (trick/john) opened the passenger door and kicked her out on the sidewalk. Someone called 911, and an ambulance took her to the nearest hospital.”

I began the search for Jen’s corpse. As I am asking information to give me the phone number for the hospital and the city morgue, I began to sob. Reality hit: Jen not only chose hell on earth, but also eternal hell.

Jen’s mom died a couple years back and she didn’t know any of her children; therefore, the hospital only had record of an aunt and notified her. The aunt gave permission to turn off the machines and signed Jen’s body over to the state.

Sadly, the cop had notified me too late. The state had received Jen’s lifeless body and cremated her. She was not given a funeral service and is in the ground at a Potter’s Field.

I thought about how Jen felt so unwanted in life and how she was even unwanted in her death. The truth she never accepted was that she was wanted by her Savior. He died that she may have life, but she made a choice to reject Him. However, her death will serve a purpose! I pray that the man paying for sex, never picks up another girl. May conviction fall on the drug dealer and he never sell again. I hope the crowd who ran when the sirens approached the scene, ran all the way to the feet of Jesus.

This tragedy has tortured my soul. I vow to glorify God through Jen’s story, by sharing this message with you. When choosing to reject God, remember that doesn’t give you control over your life, but offers only death. Will you think of Jen before you choose sin? As if she isn’t enough, how about all three of my friends that died in that very same week from the same batch of bad heroin. I cannot even say: Rest in Peace to Jen, Levi, or Lil’ D because they never knew Peace.

But I can ask you, “Will you choose Jesus?” He alone is the only Giver of life. Now on earth and when your body eventually dies, He will claim you as His child! We are all wanted, by our Creator.

Lisa McDaniel

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Knock at the Door

Revelation 3:20 Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and I with him.

Deep asleep, I hear a knock at the door.
Has Rheanna lost her house key?
Feeling happy she’s home I rush to the door.

But the fireman dressed in rescue equipment says,
“Can you tell me your daughter’s name ma’am?”
As my heart sunk, my mind tried to grasp his next few words.

“Rheanna has been in a bad car wreck, she is being airlifted to Tupelo Hospital in critical condition.” A parent should never receive such a knock at the door.

At the ER, we are asked to wait in a family room, while they clean her up. The nurse knocks lightly at the door, “Ms. McDaniel, you can come back now.”

As she knocks to alert the doctors we are entering the trauma room. I hear machines, orders being shouted, and my child’s gut-wrenching screams.

A Strength not of my own carries me through the door, as I see my flesh and blood laying mangled on a bloody sheet with tubes going every direction; bruises and cuts covered her once flawless skin.

The swipe of a badge opens the door, to allow family to look at her in amazement and fear — one at a time I saw shock turn into reality on their faces.

Once stabilized Rheanna is moved to a room. Relieved, she is ready for rest, but there was a constant knock at the door.

Test this, check that, poke here, push there. I knew the hospital staff was helping, but how I wanted to lock that door!

Then family and friends seem to have a different tone when they knock at the door. They bring prayer, praise, love and concern. There knocks brought Hope in the room with them.

I sit here now, awaiting a knock at the door. The doctor will tell me the condition of my frail child.

As I patiently wait, I am reminded of how my Savior knocked on the door of my heart and how long I made Him wait. Even though He entered with joy, not dreading the task at hand.

The hinges seemed rusty, yet He entered and began remodeling, renewing and restoring. Had I not opened the door of my heart to my Savior, I could not have walked through, or opened the many doors I face today. 

Thank you Jesus, you are our Strength, Healer, Deliverer, and Hope!