Sunday Miracles…

*Names and some details have been changed for privacy

The frantic pounding on the door startled me from my Sunday morning reverie.  Still dressed in my bathrobe, I hollered to Scott that someone was at the door, hoping that he would take care of it so that I could get dressed.  Hearing no answer and as the pounding continued, increasing in intensity, I wrapped my robe around my waist a little tighter and hurried to the door. 

On the front porch stood a sobbing young woman holding a little girl in her arms.  My first crazy thought was that she had hit one of our dogs on the highway but as I tore open the door and saw our St Bernard standing there beside her, I knew it was something significantly more serious. 

 “My daughter is having seizures”, she screamed at me between sobs, “Please, please, help me!”

I quickly took her daughter from her arms and rushed through the house to the couch.  The little girl was completely limp and pale, eyes rolled back in her head, but still breathing. 

 “Father, help me!’ I silently prayed as I verbally reassured the mother that she had come to the right house. 

 

Three years ago, when we first moved here, Scott and I made the decision to join the local volunteer Fire Department.  Scott had already had 8 years of volunteer Fire experience in our prior town, with incredible amounts of training, resulting in Firefighter I and II certifications, as well as First Responder, Hazmat and Fire Leadership courses.  He is a skilled firefighter, who stands out as a leader on accident and emergency scenes.  I, on the other hand, was a newbie but quickly fell in love with the work.   

We both joined the Fire Chaplains team as well, with a desire to do more than just put a fire out or bandage a broken leg.  Our heart was to bring hope to people in the worst of times.  To heal their hearts as well as their bodies…..Not knowing where our patients stand with God, this sometime requires a step of faith to intervene.  To ask them if we can bring God into their crisis with them….

 

I patted the little girl’s cheek, “Wake up, sweetie, wake up!”   Scott came into the room, already on his radio with Emergency Dispatch. 

“She had a seizure yesterday, and I took her to the hospital. They said that she had just choked on some candy and they dismissed us!” the mother said, wringing her hands and pacing as Scott and I took her daughter’s vital signs.  

Little eyes peeked out at me through long eyelashes.  “What’s your name, punkin?” I asked.  “Sarah”, came the sleepy, slurred reply. 

“She’s never had any problems before, why is this happening?” her mom wailed, breaking down into sobs again. “We were on our way to Nebraska and I don’t have a cell phone! Yours was the closest house I could find out here!”

Sirens rang out as our local rescue truck bringing our Fire Chief and two local EMT’s came screaming into the driveway. 

My children were standing in the living room, eyes as large as dinner plates.  “My son is still in the car”, mom said, “I’d better go and get him.” 

Turning to my son, knowing that this would give them a way to help, I directed him to the little boy still strapped in the car.  All three of my kids rushed out, a desire to do something written all over their faces.   Stepping aside to let the more experienced medical personnel in to access the little girl, I watched as my three children calmly ushered a five year old little boy into the house.  “Would you like something to eat?” my son said.  He nodded and they all proceeded to stumble over one another to make a PB & J.  Fortified with toys, a glass of milk, a sandwich, a sliced apple and three sets of eyes watching his every move, he sat at the table with a cautious grin. 

Turning back to mom, I noticed her rubbing her chest and swaying a bit.  “Can you tell me your name?” I asked as I led her to the nearby loveseat. 

“Lila”, she replied with a wince as she continued rubbing her chest. 

“Pray with her!” my Father said.  

Taking a deep breath, I asked, “Lila, could I pray with you for your daughter?”  Her eyes opened slightly in surprise as she hesitantly nodded.  I took her hands in  mine and began to pray. 

The room and the chaos faded into the back ground, the bustling EMT’s and hiss of oxygen quieted, and it was only her and I and our Heavenly Father.  I have no idea what I prayed, but as I said “Amen” and opened my eyes, the change in Lila was pronounced.  She continued to sit for a moment with her eyes shut; her hands had stilled and her breathing deepened.  The peace of God was visibly wrapped around her like a cloak. 

Our pastor is on our Department with us and is the head of our Chaplain team.  He also is a very handy guy and a mechanic.   As we asked questions about symptoms and circumstances, we were puzzled as to the cause of the little girl’s seizures.  Lila kept asking, “Why is this happening to her?” and we continued to try to reassure her that God would help us to find out and that He would walk with her; she was not alone. 

“She was in the car both times it happened,” Lila said.  I watched as the light dawned on our pastor’s face.  Getting to his feet, he said, “While we are waiting for the paramedics to arrive, can I check out your car?”  Lila nodded, passing him the keys. 

A few minutes later, he came back in.  “Did you know you are missing 18 inches of tail pipe?” he asked.  She nodded, “I haven’t had the time or money to get it fixed.”

He said,”Because your car is a hatchback, the exhaust is circling back into the car. Does Sarah sit on the left side?”  Lila nodded.

We all shared knowing looks and at that moment, the paramedics arrived.  After beginning another slew of questions, our pastor shared the tail pipe clue, and they all headed out to load Sarah into the ambulance. 

Maverick, Lila’s little boy, said, “I want to stay here and play!”  Bending down to his level, my son replied, “You have to go with your sister, buddy, but maybe someday you can come back and play with us!”  After they gave each other hugs, Maverick quietly followed his mom to the waiting ambulance.  

“Can I leave my car here?” Lila asked.  Nodding our assent, we shared our contact information with her and agreed that we would help work something out as soon as we knew more about what was going on.   

With a sigh, we headed back into the house to get ready for church as the ambulance wailed its way onto the highway.

That afternoon, a truck pulled into the driveway. 

Lila stepped out and gave me a big hug.  “It was carbon monoxide poisoning!  We all tested positive but Sarah was the littlest so she had symptoms the fastest.  Because of the length of our drive back to Nebraska, we could have died if they had not found out what was wrong….. We are all fine now and Sarah is going to be ok! My father is going to follow me home with the kids in the truck and I will drive with the windows down….we will get home just fine….Thank you!” 

We all stood in the driveway, watching them pull away and praising God for His divine appointments. 

I don’t know if we will see Lila, Sarah and Maverick again, but we know that on this Sunday morning, there was peace and God’s presence in our living room, that our kids ministered to a sweet little boy, that God gave the answers that were needed to spare a little girl a barrage of unnecessary tests, and that we were right where God wanted us to be.

 

We have often wondered through the trials of the past three years if we had done the right thing in moving here, if this was the right place or if we had heard God correctly.  Through our questions and doubts, our patient Heavenly Father smiles, sends confirmations in the form of people needing His peace and love and asks, “What will you choose to do?  Will you care for the least of these? Will you choose to see my miracles?”

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow, Don’t know if you remember me but talk about God putting you at the right place at the right time.
    I love what you are doing and I want to support your ministry. You are a great inspiration to me and I am so glad I met you and Scott in Oregon. May God bless you and this ministry.
    Love, Nancy


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