Arrogant Jane

 Jane had always been a “do-er.” Involvement was her satisfaction in life. If there was a cause, a need, or a service she was involved. Everyone knew it, consequently, she was called, day or night, to see if she would help.

She was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, The Town Board, The School Board, The Library Board, The PTA, A Little League Patron, The local food bank, and the yearly Festival Committee. She seldom had an evening free and liked it that way. A divorcee, she was able to be involved in everything. In fact, her involvement had been the contributing factor leading up to her divorce. Her husband couldn’t compete with it. She had no children to hinder her and was glad because they would have taken too much of her precious time. Her daily planner looked like a large, three-ringed binder, well worn and crammed full of notes, brochures, and what-nots. Normally out of bed by six a.m. by necessity, rarely was she in bed by midnight. Seldom was she seen without a coffee cup in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She looked ten years older than she actually was.

She was a member of her church, at least she attended. Jane never had the time to volunteer at the church. By the time she had fulfilled all of her other obligations, she was exhausted. Sunday morning services usually ended up as nap time for her. More than once she had awakened to find herself alone. Church had ended and everybody, including the pastor, had left, leaving her quietly snoring in her seat.

She was on the way to the Food Bank when it happened. Her left arm began tingling and it rapidly went down her left side into her leg. It increased into a hard pressure that felt like an elephant was sitting on the left half of her body. Struggling and frantic, she pulled her car to the curb and parked. Pulling her cell phone from her purse, she called 911.

“911, what is your emergency?” the operator asked.

“Aahhh neeee  hppp!” Jane mumbled with a mouth that didn’t work right.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t understand that. Will you repeat it please?”

“Huullpp Mm!” she mumbled.

“Ma’am, I can’t understand you. I believe you’re having a heart attack,” answered the operator.


“Since you can’t tell me where you are, we will try to run a trace on your phone. Until we find you, honk your horn. Try to get someone’s attention.”

Jane did as she was told, and after fifteen minutes she was found by the police. An ambulance was summoned, and she was whisked off to the hospital.

After tests were run, she was put in a private room. An IV was inserted and medication flowed into her vein from a bag suspended over her head. A doctor entered her room with her chart in his hand.

“Hello, Jane. I’m sorry to see you this way. You’ve had a stroke. The whole left-hand side of your body is affected.”

Jane lay there and stared at him. Tears welled up in her eyes and began streaking her cheeks.

“Jane, we’ve known each other for how long? Twenty years? And how many times have I told you to slow down?” he scolded, Are you still smoking and guzzling coffee?”

She sheepishly looked at him and tried to nod her head yes.

“Shame on you! Are you trying to kill yourself? If so, you almost succeeded,” he scolded while staring at her, “I don’t know if you will recover the use of your body or not. Time will tell. I do know this. You’re going to get the rest your body desperately needs.”

The doctor shook his head, turned, and left her room.

Jane lay there and cried because of the doctor’s rebuke. Feeling sorry for herself, she drifted off to sleep.

“Jane,” the voice spoke.

She slowly opened her eyes and scanned her surroundings. Glancing at the clock on the wall, she saw that it was two forty-three in the morning. Startled, she realized that she had been asleep for over nine hours. What she didn’t see was who had called her name. Thinking it was her imagination, she closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

“Jane,” the voice spoke again.

This time, wide awake, she answered, “Yes, who is it?”

“Jane, I am here. Look at the foot of the bed.”

With her right hand, she was able to push the button that elevated her bed. As her head and shoulders rose she saw a figure standing before her.

“Who are you? How did you get in here? Visiting hours were over a long time ago!”

“Jane, look at me closely,” he replied.

Jane did so. The man was dressed in what looked like a white robe that glimmered. He was dark-complected, had dark hair, and eyes that seemed like they could penetrate her soul. He stood with his arms outstretched and his palms extended.

She could see scars on his palms. Immediately she knew who it was.


“Yes, I am Jesus.”

“Why are you here?”

“Because you need me and what I have to offer.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know that also. Can we talk?”

“Who am I to say no.”

“Jane, do you know why this happened to you?”

“No, not really. The doctor said that I pushed myself to the limit and my body couldn’t take it anymore. It makes me mad that it did. I have so much to do,” she answered.

“Jane, there are others that will take your place. Others are also involved in a “Help” ministry.”

She just stared at Him.

“Jane, how long have you been avoiding me? Seems to me it has been all of your life. I know you go to church. I see you asleep every Sunday. Do you ever listen to your pastor? Have you ever put my teachings to practice?”

“But Jesus, I help people all the time. Look at all of the organizations I’m involved with. Doesn’t that count for anything?” she answered, suddenly realizing she could talk again.

“Yes, they count, but are you doing them for the wrong reasons? You lost your husband and felt you didn’t have time for children. Were you being selfish? Did you destroy your husband’s dreams? Think about it,” he answered.

“I never thought about it that way before. I’ve always wanted to help others,” she replied.

“Did you ever think that it might be that you wanted to be the center of attention? That you thrived on it?”

She thought about it. Her office walls were full of plaques, and tables were covered with awards and citations. It had become her trophy room, something she enjoyed showing to visitors. She realized that she was proud of it. Now it disgusted her.

“Jane, I am taking it all away from you. Because of the negligence of your body, you will recover totally, but it will take a year to do so. I am giving you that much time to come to your senses. I will help you break the addiction to nicotine and caffeine.”

And then He was gone.

Jane lay there and cried, deep gut-wrenching sobs that somehow alerted the nurse’s station. Her door opened and a nurse came in.

“Are you all right? Do you need anything?” she asked.

Jane nodded her head and the nurse left.

It was a slow healing process. Little by little, through therapy and determination, she regained the use of her body. Her speech also improved. She couldn’t figure out how she was able to talk fluently to Jesus that night and then go back to the way she was, barely coherent.

The saddest part of the experience was that all of the organizations she had worked for abandoned her. For the first couple of months, they visited regularly. The visits started dwindling and now it was as if she was a leper.

Jane was almost back to normal when Jesus called again.

“Jane,” He spoke.

Opening her eyes, she recognized His voice.

“Yes, Jesus,” she answered.

“I have been watching you, monitoring your progress. You are almost back to normal,” He said.

“Yes, I am. The doctors say I’m fine, no permanent damage to my heart.”

“Can we talk about your heart?”

“What do you mean?”

“I know that you have a servant’s heart. Will you serve me?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it before. Why me?”

“Jane, I will place a calling on your life. But I have to have control of your heart. You must give it to me.”

“I don’t understand,” she answered.

“Yes, you do. You have ignored me all of your life. I have work for you to do, but first, you must do something.”

“What is it?”

“Repent. Ask me into your heart. That is all that I ask,” He answered, “I am the answer to all of your problems. And I alone can solve anything, heal anything, and restore everything. All you have to do is ask.”

Realization smacked her in the face. Jane broke down and cried, “Father, forgive me, a sinner. Come into my heart and make me a new person. Please, I need your help.”

“Well done, my child,” he answered, “now wait for my instructions.”

Completely back on her feet, she was at the church every time the doors were open. This time she volunteered for the right reasons. She taught a Sunday School class and helped with Vacation Bible School and the church food pantry. She made sure that she didn’t try to take over, always supported the church officers, and was quickly accepted as a helping hand member of the church. She was pleased with herself and made sure she kept a humble attitude.

“Jane,” the voice called again during the night.

“Yes, Lord,” she answered.

“Remember I told you that you have a calling?”

“Yes, I remember,” she answered.

“There is someone I want you to meet.”

“Who is it?”

“You will know.”

The following Sunday there was a visitor at the church. Through a member, she was introduced to a man about her age. Tall and handsome, she was drawn to him. They struck up a conversation, and he invited her to lunch after church. His name was John and she found it very easy to talk to him.

That night she asked God if this was the person she was supposed to meet. He didn’t answer her like she wanted Him to, so she decided to see what would happen.

Friendship blossomed, and in no time wedding bells were ringing. Their life revolved around the church, they were always there and always doing.

One night as they were asleep in bed, the voice again spoke.

“John! Jane!”

They both woke up and answered, “Yes, Lord.”

“It is time. I placed both of you together because I know both of you have servant’s hearts. I have watched you and I know that you are ready for your calling. I am calling you to the Mission’s field. I am sending you, as my emissaries, to the Middle East. You are to establish a church and an orphanage. Will you go?”

“Yes, Lord, we, your servants will go wherever you direct us to go.”

“It will not be easy. You will face much opposition and persecution. I am making the way as we speak. Go, share me with the people. The harvest is ripe. Protect the children. I will be with you. Put your trust in me.”

“Yes, Lord.”   

January 14, 2021