They were cutting wood. Five guys from church who had volunteered to help cut some firewood for old Ms. Foleman who had broken her arm in a fall and needed some help. It was a fairly warm, sunny day in early fall.
There was the choir director, a deacon, and three other men including Jerry who had been attending church for several months. They didn’t know much about Jerry except that he had been mentioned on the prayer list for a heart problem and for salvation. The guys had befriended Jerry and were glad he showed up to help Ms. Foleman.
They had almost finished cutting and splitting the pile of logs and Jerry was wielding the axe on the last few of them. They had had a good time talking about the ballgame, the new restaurant that had recently opened in town, and the strange characters each one of them had in their families. They talked about some of the outreach programs the church was involved in and how they were helping the community.
As the axe came down on an oak log, Jerry suddenly stopped, grabbed his chest and stumbled over toward the pile of wood. The guys grabbed him and helped him to lie on the ground while one of them called 911 and another called his wife. Jerry said, “My heart!” and was struggling and it scared the men. How bad was this? Was Jerry going to make it? In a few minutes, which seemed like an hour, the rescue squad arrived and quickly loaded Jerry inside and headed for the hospital. The guys jumped in their vehicles and followed praying along the way.
At the emergency room, the guys sat waiting as the ER personnel worked feverishly on Jerry as his family began to arrive. They told them what had happened at the wood pile and joined them in prayer for Jerry. After the prayer, the guys began talking among themselves about Jerry remembering the prayer request about his heart and why he was even taking a chance cutting wood. But Jerry wanted to help and be a part. Then they remembered the second part of the prayer request; Jerry’s not being saved. They began to ask each other if any of them had shared Jesus with Jerry. No one had. They had just spoken briefly with Jerry at church and on this day, had talked about the ballgame and other trivial things. Oh no!
Finally, the doctor came out to talk to the family. As the guys watched in horror, they saw Jerry’s wife begin to cry loudly and his children holding each other. Jerry had died.
Not a word was spoken by the guys for several minutes as they watched the scene before them and thought about the opportunity they had missed that day. Jerry may have made a decision for Jesus in the ER or at church last Sunday but the guys will never know. They will know, and it will haunt them, that they had a chance to talk to Jerry about Jesus and didn’t do it. How tragic.
We are all in the position of the guys. There is someone, maybe several, who we know is not saved and we haven’t said anything to them about it. Think about it. Make a decision and act on it. Someone’s eternity depends on you. “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4).