Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Was it you?

I'm walking up Polk street on my way to California street, when I overhear a woman and a man waiting to cross the street on Post. We're all standing on the Southwest corner of the intersection and the man looks at the woman and says, "Do you think he's O.K.?", then he looks up Post towards Van Ness Avenue. There's a man lying on the sidewalk dressed in a clean green sweatshirt, jeans and tan construction boot. The other shoe is resting beside him and there is a blue wind breaker spreadout near his body.

I look at the two of them and say, "Do you want me to call 911?" This is the second time in two weeks this has happened to me.

"Yeah, thanks.", the man declares. The woman nods her head. The light changes and they continue along their journey up Polk Street.

I grab my cell phone. SF dispatch...send. "911. Please, state your emergency." I play paramedic and give her an assessment of the patient before she has a chance to start reading from her scripted questions.

"Where's your location?"

"I'm on the southwest corner of Polk and Post Street."

"Are you in front of a store?"

"Yeah, the name of the store is called, 'Signs'."

"Where are you?"

"I'm on the southwest corner of Polk and Post Street."

"Are you in front of a store?"

"Yeah, the name of the store is called, 'Signs'."

Does she think I'm carrying the guy around from one corner to the next? Maybe, she thought we would play a game of around the world or maybe, she wanted to verify the information? Good job. I give her very detailed information about my precise location and she says the paramedics will be there in a couple of minutes.

No sirens. Hmmm. That's strange. I look east across Polk and I can see the paramedics . They can't see me. I haven't moved. I'm still standing on the Southwest corner of Polk and Post Street.

"Hey, over here!" OK. I have there attention and they're on their way. Just then I remember that there's a fire department a half a block from me. The paramedics just walked over from the fire house.

One of the paramedics says it's another heroin overdose. Another guys says, "Didn't we pass this guy?" As they're working on him, I mention to a couple of other paramedics that I had to call on the same thing last week. I was shocked by one of the paramedics sense of humor. The medic looked at me and asked me with a smile on his face, "Was it you?." Maybe, he thought I was with this guy.

Drug addiction and homelessness have grown to tremendous proportions in San Franciso. I'm sure paramedics in the city treat a lot of overdose victims everyday. But, I'm urging you not to let yourself become desensitized to the needs of others because of their sex, race, religion, political views, social status, morals, etc., so spread love.

Jesus knew what His mission was and He fullfilled it. Let's pattern our lives after His.

Luke 4:18-19

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