“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return” Bhagavad Gita
Have you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time?
Have you ever looked back on a situation and realized you were in the right place at the right time, but had no idea what brought you to that place, that decision, that incident? Did you ever feel certain that it must have been Divine intervention that brought you to that specific place and moment in time?
I had that experience today.
I was watching a friend's daughter while the friend had her hair done. (These things are essential when a deployed husband's return is imminent!) The small daughter and I were driving around looking at some beautiful homes in an older neighborhood. Honestly, she was acting sleepy and so I thought she'd doze off if we kept driving. We'd driven down one side of the road, ooh-ing and aah-ing, and were driving back up the road, when I noticed something peculiar in one of the driveways.
I questioned what I had seen. So much so that I backed the car up.
Sure enough, there were two elderly people crouching/laying/sitting in a driveway. I could see a wheeled walker close by and figured that one of them had fallen, and the other was offering assistance.
So, I pulled my car into the driveway to offer some help. As I got closer, I realized that their car, a small truck, was backed into a tree and that it was still running. "That's odd," I thought.
"Hi, y'all!" I yelled. "Can I offer you some help?"
"No, we're fine," he calls. "Yes, please," she calls.
At the same time.
As I draw closer, I see that this isn't going to be as I first thought. The woman is injured and is bleeding profusely from a leg wound. (I'll spare the details, but let's just say that I was truly glad to have an iron stomach.)
"Have you called an ambulance?" I ask.
"Nah. She'll be fine if I can just get her up and into the house," he replies.
Uhhh... I don't think so. Not on my watch.
So, I run back to the car and call 911. I turn off their truck as I race back up the driveway and begin to talk to the lady, Miss Frannie*. She is a bit spacey, telling me, "Boy, I've really done a number to my leg this time!" But, all in all, she's doing quite well.
Except for that whole bleeding thing.
While I'm on the phone with 911 explaining the situation, the gentleman says, "May I talk on that thing?" So, I hand the phone over.
"This is Dr. Jones*. We don't need any of those sirens or light now, ya hear? Nothing fancy. She'll be fine."
I ask Dr. Jones to go into the house to get me a clean towel, and as he shuffles off, I tell the dispatcher, "Yes, lights and siren. I need you here now!"
While awaiting the paramedics' arrival, Miss Frannie and I talked. Mostly about how she was feeling, but a bit about her day and what she'd been doing. And then I asked her, "Miss Frannie, are you a praying woman?"
"May I pray with you?"
"Oh, yes. Please."
So we pray. And it was then that the most wonderful feeling of relief washed over me.
Because, you see, I felt so helpless. Yes, I knew to call 911. And I made sure the car was off. And I covered the wound and applied pressure. But, what I really wanted to do was to place my hand on Miss Frannie and heal her.
Not just from her leg wound, but from her chronic renal failure that she'd been treating with dialysis just that morning.
To heal the fear I saw in her eyes.
To return to her a shred of dignity.
To see the light of hope return to her eyes.
And, for one brief moment, while we prayed, I think all of that happened.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
And present our requests we did!
As the flurry of paramedics, firemen, and even a helpful mailman, ensconced Dr. and Mrs. Jones, I took my leave.
But I couldn't get what had just happened out of my head.
What if I hadn't been driving by just at the exact right moment?
What if I hadn't been looking that way to notice something amiss?
What if she'd bled to death before someone came to help?
I don't know the answers to all the "what if" questions. What I DO know is that there are no coincidences. God had me there at that specific time and place for a reason.
You see, I wasn't supposed to be there. I was supposed to be in my weekly Bible Study. And I felt guilty for having left early.
I wasn't supposed to be in that neighborhood. I had never been there before, nor was it a preplanned trip.
Apparently, I was supposed to be in that neighborhood. He needed me there.
If, for one brief moment, I was able to gift Dr. and Mrs. Jones with the love and gentleness of Jesus, I am so blessed to have been used by Him in this way.
And the most wonderful thing?
Jesus not only heard our prayer, but answered with a resounding, "Yes, my dear ones. Yes."
Because a wound that I thought could possibly be fatal to an elderly woman in a frail state, wasn't.
Because a major surgery and an extended hospital stay that seemed certain, wasn't.
Because the fear, sadness, and guilt on the face and in the heart of a man who'd put his car in neutral and forgotten to engage the parking break before assisting his wife out of that car, could have stayed in his heart forever. But it won't.
Because Miss Frannie and Dr. Jones are home tonight. Albeit with 20 more stitches than they started the day with, but they're home. Resting comfortably.
I had great, lofty dreams of what it meant to be a mother. And then I had babies. And reality set in...
MotorMan is my exceedingly handsome and very handy husband. He loves this GHM, our kiddos, flying really fast jets, and restoring his old 1970 Blazer. Oh, and anything fried!
CraftyGirl is our very smart, cute, and loving eight year old. She can turn anything (i.e. empty Cheerios boxes, Diet Coke cases, whipped cream containers) into a zoo, playhouse, or park for her many, many "Pet Shops." CraftyGirl loves canned ravioli, black beans, sparkly dresses, nail polish, her family, and Jesus!
TheBoy is all boy! Our funny six year old loves Legos, military action figures, jets, his family, and Jesus! He fills our house with constant chatter and a lot of laughs!
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