After spending nearly seven hours hanging from a sign above an Oklahoma highway, an unidentified man seeking to end his own life changed his mind after a good Samaritan told him, "God loves you."
Rick Jewell, the good Samaritan, told News Channel 8 that his son noticed that the man in distress was coincidentally in the exact location as a giant cross that is illuminated during the holidays.
"I stayed over here and prayed for 15 minutes when I first got here, and then my son says, 'Look over their Dad. There's a cross right behind him,'" Jewell noted.
Onlooker Trei Jackson told the news station that Jewell's intervention did the trick after the man in distress did not respond to calls to climb down from the sign above Interstate 244.
"Ole' boy told him that Jesus loves you, basically, and that you ain't do no wrong, to come down, just ask for help. He came down," Jackson said.
"God loves you guy," Jewell said to the man, prompting him to come down.
"I just started talking to him, and I told him there was more to life than what he was doing and that God loved him," Jewell explained. "He looked at me, and I told him to throw me his cigarettes, he threw me those, I said throw me that rope, he threw me that rope, and I said now get down from there. I said they're going to help you. He headed down. Simple. It's crazy."
"But I also told you what I did for 15 minutes over there before you showed up; I was praying. So, that had a lot to do with it, I'm sure," he said.
According to News On 6, Tulsa Police said that the department is relieved that the man climbed down from the sign on his own, unhurt after nearly spending seven hours. The man reportedly climbed up to the sign at around 9 am and climbed down at approximately 4 pm.
Tulsa Police Officer Andre Baul explained that the man had prior contact with negotiators in a separate incident and noted that he was in distress because of ongoing legal issues in his life.
"He was scared about the future, about what he was going to be facing once he came down," Baul said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joel Sharpe
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.