Could Have Killed You

“. . . could have killed you.”


“Look, my father, look at the piece of your robe I am holding! I could have killed you, but instead I only cut this off. This should convince you that I have no thought of rebelling against you or of harming you.” (I Samuel 24:11)

We were driving along a two-lane highway Sunday afternoon when Patti shouted, “Look!” and pointed upward.  Suddenly I saw the parachutes and decided I needed to try to take some photos.  This particular photo shows a tandem jump, so I suspect it was one skilled sky diver who helped a novice jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  Imagine trusting your life to a total stranger enough to be strapped to them for a walk in the clouds! 

I guess the truth of the matter is that we trust our lives to a lot of different folks on an almost daily basis.  Sometimes we’re aware we’re doing it and sometimes we might not give it a second thought.  I’ll bet the novice in my photo at least checked the credentials of the professional skydiver before jumping from the plane.  However, we probably don’t think much about getting in the car as a passenger while someone else is driving.

We place ourselves in the hands of others in so many different ways.  When two people are about to be married I always warn them that the chances of their marriage surviving are about 50%.  They are placing themselves in the hands of the other person and giving that person the power to make them feel better than anyone else in the world, or make them feel worse than anyone else in the world.  What power!  They’d better pay very careful attention to the fact they have each others’ lives in their hands!

The scripture passage from I Chronicles is part of the story of the end days of King Saul, when David had been anointed to succeed Saul as king and Saul was attempting to kill David.  In the story David and his men were hiding in the back of a cave and Saul entered the same cave to sleep.  Saul’s life was placed in David’s hands.  What power!  David respected Saul as the anointed king of Israel and chose not to harm him.

It is a tragedy when the lives of others are placed in our hands and we chose not to respect that opportunity and do everything in our power to chose life for that person or persons.  How tragic it is when couples lose sight of the power they have to chose life for one another.  How tragic it is when parents lose sight of the power they have to chose life for their children.  How tragic it is when people of faith lose sight of the power they have to chose life for others – to nurture them in the faith of Jesus Christ so they might know God’s amazing love in this life and in the life to come.

Imagine what it would have been like had the skydiver in my photo jumped from the perfectly good airplane with his novice and then gotten distracted by other thoughts, carelessly forgetting to deploy the chute that would mean the difference between life and death for the two of them?  When the life of another is placed in our hands we best pay very careful attention and do our best to nurture them in the ways of life.  I pray that as God continues to place the lives of others in my hands I will pay careful attention and do my best to be faithful in the ways that God shows me.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia


Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on July 24, 2013.

One Response to “Could Have Killed You”

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