By: Curtis Schofield, Spiritual Insight
She was so
excited to be chosen to take the training to be a volunteer with Contact Telephone
Ministry of Chattanooga. Her pastor had recommended her.
She asked him
“why me?” He replied, “The Contact workers are trained to befriend troubled
callers. The way you are skilled at listening to the rest of us here in this
community, makes me believe you would be an effective volunteer.”
Since she was
retirement age she was not sure she would be chosen to serve, even after taking
the training. But even being given the opportunity to take the training excited
her. So she took the 50 hours of training.
and was invited to serve on the 6 to 11 p.m. shift. This meant she and another
partner would sit by telephones and respond to callers who were aware that
“help is as close as your telephone.”
Each time she
was relieved from her service at 11 p.m. she left the center so content. What a
joy it was to serve troubled and lonely people. She was rejoicing that life is
so good. How wonderful it was to belong to this special group of servants,
called contact workers.
For her life
was so beautiful, that is until she stepped out of the Contact Center into the
darkness on a street in Highland Park, where the street was not well lighted.
She looked up the street to her car. When she parked her car before entering
the contact center it seem close to the Contact Center. Now, at 11 p.m. in the
dim light from too few street lights, her car seemed so far away.
She started to
go back in and ask Ralph, the volunteer who had just relieved her to walk her
to her car, but she thought, “I can not let fear control me. If I am going to
do this important work, I must be brave.”
So she said one
of her favorite prayers, “Jesus, I accept your promise, ‘I am with you
So out into the
darkened street Sarah went. She had walked no more than 15 steps when she could
hear the steps of a man behind her. She wondered, “Where did he come from? He
was not anywhere to be seen, when I left the building.” She hurried her pace to
get to her car. She prayed, “Lord Jesus, thank you that I am not alone.” She
got her car keys out so as to be ready.
When she got to
the car, and put her key in, the hand of a stranger reached out and took hold
of her shoulder. Her first thought was to scream, but instead, she said, “In
the name of Jesus, I command you to take you hand off me, and leave.” The
She started her
car and went home, rejoicing that there is power in the name of Jesus.
Curtis Schofield is a retired pastor, who in
the late 1960’s was the founding director of Contact of Chattanooga
(423)266-8228. To read more of his faith stories see