To guard a life. To bravely stand watch. To hold a post commissioned by an employer, but more often...by ones own choices and convictions.
To stand between the weak, and inevitable or predicted harm is a mission some care not to participate in. Their mission is avoidance of responsibility...of getting "too involved". The greatest rewards in life come from the most imminent risk. Jumping head first into a situation, like that of the skilled Life Guard requires intent...fiery on the inside of the soul...blazing with the assuredness that sitting on the edge of the danger is surely not an option.
When a Life Guard trains, they are required to memorize the following chart explaining why people drown. Interestingly enough...all of these points, are transferrable to everyday life. In taking on the guardianship for the weak and troubled...we are able to pull victims from a potentially fatal situation.
1. Lack of Education
2. Lack of Protection
3. Inability to Cope
4. Lack of Safety Advice
5. Lack of Supervision
Standing in, or with someone who is at a moment of vulnerability and brokeness, is not an act that requires the answers. It doesn't command explanation...it merely asks, in the gentlest voice, for solidarity and loyalty. It's like the guard on the tower. We are safer as swimmers because we are protected by the faithful eyes and razor sharp skills of the forward thinking guard. We know they are there if trouble should pull us under...but otherwise...they observe life on the beach, and stand watch...often in silence.
So, your words may be few to someone who is being pulled under by the riptide of circumstance...your actions may be swift and your words zero, in a moment of crisis. But know this... we are the guardians of each other. God has equipped us to be His grasping hands, and his swift to act feet... or His shoulder when there is nothing left to do but collapse under weeping and grief. Know there is immeasurable, eternal value to the sacrifice of those actions.
After all, my friend...you're saving a life.