THE ENDURANCE TEST
When my spirit grows faint within me
It is you who know my way
In the path where I walk
Men have hidden a snare for me
Look to my right and see;
No one is concerned for me
I have no refuge
No one cares for my life
Psalm 142:3,4 (NIV)
Tiredness overwhelmed me as I stared up into the stars.
I was just about to close my eyes and go to sleep, when I heard a clear voice speak to me, and say “Ian, if you close your eyes you shall never awake again”.
I looked around expecting to see a man standing there but I saw no-one.
It startled me and I shook off the sleepiness and thought, “What am I doing? I can’t go to sleep here, I need to get to a hospital, I need to get anti-toxins, and I need to get help. If I go to sleep here I may actually never wake up.”
So I tried to stand again.
I was able to hobble slowly down the road and I found a couple of taxis parked at a petrol station next to a restaurant.
I limped over to the taxis and begged the drivers to take me to the hospital. The men in the cars looked at me and said, "How much money will you pay us?" So I said, "I haven't got any money" - speaking out loud to myself.
Then I realised what a foolish thing it was to admit to these men that I had no money. I could have lied.....but I didn't,
I just told the truth. I have no money. And the three drivers just laughed, "You're drunk, you're crazy". They turned around, lit their cigarettes and started to walk off.
Then I heard a clear voice again say “Ian, are you willing to beg for your life?"
I sure was! And I even knew how to do it. I had lived in South Africa long enough. I'd seen the black men cup their hands and bow their heads to the white men and say, “Yes’m boss, yes’m marsta.” It was very easy for me to get down on my knees because my right leg was already paralysed, and my left leg was very wobbly.
I was leaning up against the car so I just slipped down on to my knees and cupped my hands. Lowering my head so as not to look at them I begged for my life.
I was nearly crying.
I knew that if I didn't get to hospital soon..... I wasn’t going anywhere.
If these guys didn't have compassion and love in their heart for me, and mercy towards me, I would have died right there in front of them.
So I begged and pleaded with them, for my life.
With my head bent I watched their feet. Two of them just walked away, but I could see one young man moving his feet in indecision. It seemed to go on for an unbearably long time, but then he came over and picked me up.
He didn't speak, but he helped me up, put me in the car and drove off.
Half way to the hospital however, he changed his mind....... He demanded...
"What hotel you stay in white man?” I replied that I didn’t live in a hotel but in a bungalow at Tamarin Bay.
He thought I had lied to him and was angry that he might not get any money from me after all. “How will I get my money?” he retorted.
I answered, "I'll give you all the money I've got!" When your life's at stake, money means nothing.
I said "I'll give you any money you want if you can get me to hospital. I'll give you it all."
But he didn’t believe me.
to be cont'd