Nearly five million people have seen Christopher Jones' skydive on YouTube. It's breathtaking.
He bails out of the plane - and everything's going great. Until the seizure. After four years seizure-free years, he's cleared to jump.
But at 9,000 feet, Christopher suddenly rolled onto his back, unconscious. Plunging earthward at 120 miles per hour! Thank God, his instructor Sheldon McFarlane responded immediately. But as Christopher convulsed, he was falling farther out of reach.
Finally, McFarlane got close enough to reach his unconscious student. Just 4,000 feet from looming disaster below. He pulled his student's ripcord, the chute opened. In Christopher's words, "He saved my life."
It was a heart-stopper, for sure. And, for me, a solemn reminder.
On almost any given week, there is someone in my personal world - in most of our worlds - who is falling fast. Spinning out of control. In need of a rescue. And we're the one who's in a position to catch them. If we notice them.
It may be a disturbing post on Facebook. A sudden withdrawing from people. A troubled countenance. Mood swings. An angry outburst. In one form or another, a cry for help.
The question is, "Is my radar on for the hurting person...the wounded person...the excluded person...the lonely person...the person with the breaking or broken heart?"
Or am I all wrapped up in my list, my schedule, my troubles? Too self-absorbed to notice someone who's falling.
But noticing isn't enough. Next comes dropping everything to help. Because nothing's more urgent than rescuing the guy who's going down.
Centuries ago, God appeared to an outback shepherd in a burning bush. He told Moses, "I have seen the misery of My people in Egypt (where they were oppressed slaves)...I have heard them crying out...I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them."
Then came the shocker - "So now, go. I am sending you" (Exodus 3:7-10).
That may be a conversation God is wanting to have with you - probably minus the bush. Because He's heard the cries - even silent cries - of people near you. And He has a plan to rescue them.
It is for rescue that God came to earth. To die on a cross to rescue us from our sins. To walk out of His grave to offer us forever with Him. And He rescues us to then be a rescuer.
To tell people His Good News about belonging to Him. To be His voice, to deliver His message. To be His hands, to lift their burden. To be His face, to show them what He's like.
Because diving in for the rescue is not optional. Not when someone's falling fast. It's life-or-death.