The only sensation I had was the dried blood on my fingertips. I tried to clear the cobwebs out of my mind and at the same time try to see through my darkened surroundings. Funny isn’t it, how a luminous dial projects no light? If my watch was correct it was nine o’clock. I remembered the town clock striking eight, so I must have been out cold for a solid hour. My surroundings slowly began to take shape, I was wet, there were sticks or tree branches near me, and something cold and clammy, I hated to imagine what.
Bits and pieces of memory began to flash in my mind. My office, I had been in my office, reading a report, I had stayed late to catch up on old work. One of the janitors was emptying my trashcan then nothing until the moment I woke in this very damp place.
“Help me,” a weak voice broke the stillness.
There was a moment’s pause then silence was pierced again. “Help me.”
“Who’s calling, where are you?” I had no sense of direction, and barely a sense of my own being.
“Help me.” The voice was fainter, but still I could pick it up.
“I don’t know who or where you are, or even what happened. Can you hear me?” I tried to raise myself up but it soon became evident I was lying atop something - because I teetered. “I don’t think I can move too far, where are you?”
“Help me.” The voice was weak.
“Someone will come for us, you gotta have faith, just hang on.”
There was no response and I honestly felt a twinge of loneliness and needed to hear the voice. “Are you still there?”
A cough, and then a whimper, the words were indistinguishable.
“Hey, can you hear me?”
“Jeeesusss, lovvvess me, thisss I knownnnn, for theaaaa.”
I continued for my new friend, “Bible tells me so.”
Another cough. “Cristo me ama, cristo me ama, cristo me ama, La Biblia dice asi.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t speak much Espanol.” It must be one of the cleaning people. My neighbor-in-peril, didn’t understand me, couldn’t hear me, or ignored me, because the week voice started again.
“Cristo me ama, pues morí."
I responded, “Jesus loves me he who died.”
“Y el cielo me abrirá.”
“Heaven’s gate to open wide.” I was struggling to remember my third grade Sunday School songs. But, my neighbor seemed to have the message well in hand. I waited for his response.
A cough and then, “él mis culpas quitará." The voice stopped abruptly and breathed loudly with a groan. At the same time I thought I heard a rumble.
There was a tremendous crashing of lumber and glass, I began to panic, but as I moved I felt my platform tip sideways.
“Hey, you okay?” I couldn’t think of anything to say except to quickly start the song again. “Jesus loves me, this I know, yes Jesus loves me,” I mixed the verse but hoped to raise some attention. The only response was more crashing; I knew at any minute my platform would be toppled into some abyss. “Hey partner, if you can hear me, I think Jesus has a plan for us and we may be headed there together.” I truly thought my English was beyond the grasp of my new friend but I was praying for that unseen voice as hard as I could.
Suddenly, boards over me moved, and a cold breeze blew over my body. Two giant arms embraced by upper body and I was lifted up into a bucket attached to a truck.
I waved my arm. “Hey, there’s someone else down there.”
The man holding my shoulders just patted my back. “Yeah, we know,” he said, “we just got him out a minute ago, he told us about you, he called you his guardia de vida, I think that means life guard.”
“Jesus Loves Me”
Words By: Anna B. Warner
Music By: Wm. B. Bradbury
Translation by: Spanish Christian Lyrics
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