For Heaven's Sake


In this new column, Linda Riley reflects on the many people we encounter in ministry. Linda is a pastor's wife and director of Called Together Ministries in Torrance, California.

I hate hospitals. I hate the smell, the grim faces of the waiting, the pained, weary faces of the recovering, the factory-like processing of anguish and distress.

Years ago, though, an afternoon accident transformed me into a regular hospital visitor. It wasn't my accident that put me in the hospital. It was Yolanda's.

Yolanda was an imperfect stranger who went screeching by on a main thoroughfare. I commented to my daughter, "There's an accident waiting to happen." It didn't wait long. Two blocks up, Yolanda met four cars full of strangers. Her van turned over, rested upright.

Yolanda stumbled out as I pulled alongside. A crowd gathered, but no one approached the injured out of fear or perhaps repulsion. I locked my young daughter in the car and raced over the crunching glass toward the most injured.

Someone handed ...

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From Issue:Winter 1996: Expectations
July/August
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