So, I'm at church, not the church I go to now, another church, a big, big church, located somewhere really sunny.
I'm at church, not the church I go to now, another a church, a big, big church, located somewhere really sunny, standing outside a bathroom, waiting I think for my sister to come out. (Understand... this story takes place a long, long time ago.) A lady comes up to me, wheeling a paralytic. (Writing that, it doesn't sound very politically correct but I guess I don't know the right way to say it. It's in the Bible, so that should make it o.k., besides I think you'll see this story is about my problems, definitely not his.)
She asks me to take her friend to the bathroom.
Now you need to know two things.
One, I have what you might call a hyper-sensitive conscience about some things, and helping people is one of them. First thing that came to my mind was the story of the Good Samaritan. Sure the guy wasn't lying on the side of the road, but in my mind, having to go the bathroom pretty much constitutes an emergency.
Two, I'm not real sharp. In other words, I want to help and I'll try to help but most of the time I don't have any idea how.
I ask her what to do. She doesn't have a clue.
I wheel him in.
Oh, I forgot. He wasn't just paralyzed. He couldn't really talk. He could kind of moan but that was about it.
Well, back to the story.
I'm standing there, hands on his wheelchair, looking at the urinal, wondering what to do when I see what looks to be a seatbelt across his waist. I figure, might as well start by unstrapping it.
He starts to fall, I guess that's the best word to describe it, out of his wheelchair. Looking back, I remember arms flailing about. But, now that I'm thinking about it, that memory has to be false. After all, he was paralyzed.
Probably the reality is, my arms were flailing about. You see, I started to freak out.
I know I'm weird, but to me at the time, my anxiety made sense. I'm thinking I'm breaking him. And I definitely don't want to be known as the guy who broke the paralyzed man. Plus, he seemed pretty upset. He kept crying out, "No...No...No..."
It all seemed to be happening so fast. I have no idea what to do.
An usher comes into the bathroom, I know he's an usher because he's got a little label above the pocket on his jacket that says usher, I think I'm saved, and I start yelling, "Help me! Help me! Help me!"
He looks at me, looks at the man, puts his head down, runs into a stall and I say to myself, "Pharisee!"
Finally, after what seems like forever...(it probably was only ten seconds..but you wrestle with a paralyzed man and tell me how long it feels)...some kind soul comes to my rescue.
Now I've got to be honest.
Details from this point on are a bit sketchy. I think I've tried to block it all out. You ask me what happened, how we got him to the bathroom, I can't believe it myself, but I have no idea. All I know was that we did.
And oh yeah, there's one more thing, turns out he wasn't yelling out "No...No...No..."
He was yelling, "Let me go...Let me go...Let me go..."