DO YOU KNOW you were born to be someones hero?
AND DO YOU KNOW that you are blessed so that you may be a blessing to others?
I have been dealing for the past several nights with a touch of a stomach malady. I awoke early again this a.m. So, I grabbed for my iPhone to check the time. Ugh, not quite 4:30 a.m., again. I was not going back to sleep anytime soon so I flipped through emails, then over to Facebook. I ran across a GodVine video post that I would probably not have seen if I had checked Facebook later in the day, "What One Hero Police Officer Does to Save a Man's Life is Jaw-Dropping".
As I view this video an overwhelming sense of gratitude washes over me as I think how our police officers and people in general step up in crisis. I browse the comments and realize that people see this as an amazing but infrequent act. This saddens me a bit. But then I am grateful once again as I realize that this means they have not had to personally experience such an incident in their own lives-such incidents always tends to bring reality into clearer focus.
Thank you Lord.
Thank you that you watch over us each day and we do not crash head on into the many drivers that zoom toward us in oncoming traffic. Thank you that cars remain in their own lanes. Thank you that our vehicles are reliable and do not fail us causing accidents. Thank you that statistically these accidents are few, although even one saddens us so. Help us to be mindful of your saving and provisional grace and that we are not continually seeing human carnage all about us. Because I know people are doing everything these days but keeping their minds on the road. And for being there when we humans make choices that end us in calamity and you show up. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord.
Why so overwhelming a sense of thankfulness?
Because I know...
At the age of 19 I was that person in a one car accident-at midnight, no other vehicles around, on a curving road, made that poor choice, took my eyes off the road ahead for a moment, my wheels left the right side pavement that dropped to a deep ditch, I overcompensated sending my car careening across the head on lane taking out a length of guardrail, and headed down an embankment.
I recall how it appeared in that moment. The lights beaming across the huge boulders that had been placed there by the city, everything slowed waaaaay down. I had time to think of my family and what they would think when they received the call that I had been in a wreck-scared, hurt, and worried. Then I saw water. This was the reoccurring dream I had experienced from the age of 2. Now, here I was. I remembered I had always lived through that accident. Then I recalled hearing of wrecks and that people made it through more often when they relaxed.
I heard, "RELAX"...and I did.
I was headed straight down and into the darkness, off the road, deep below street level.
I thought, was this my dream once again?
I blinked my eyes, squenched my face, and shook my head.
No, not this time.
If I could only rewind a few seconds and have a do-over.
I knew for a fact.
This was real.
I let go!
I was in His hands.
The next thing I recalled I was upside down, untangling myself from behind the steering wheel. This was 1977, and no one wore seat belts back then. My arm was trapped beneath the roof of the car. I was going no where fast. What seemed like only moments and my friend who had been following me was down the embankment and by my side. He had been minutes behind me but had seen clouds of dust and knew my vehicle had left the road.
Thank you again God, this time for dust, for boulders placed in just the right places to slow and stop my car from entering the water. You knew and planned ahead. If I had gone only a couple of feet further I might have drowned before anyone could have saved me.
I took a quick assessment. My car was still running. I smelled gasoline. Should I leave the engine running? Would it cause a spark to turn it off? I took the chance and turned the engine off.
Next, did I have all my limbs? Anything broken? Was I able to move without pain? God had spared me great injury.
People had gathered above on the edge of the road. I could see small, red, glowing lights and knew they were smoking. I called up to them and asked for them to put their cigarettes out carefully because there was gasoline all around me and I was stuck inside the car. I asked my friend if he could free my arm. He could not. I ask if he could get help to lift the car. He looked at me in shock. I called to the people above and asked if they would come and help me by lifting the car so I could free my arm. In seconds they were there. Is that amazing or what? These boys and men did not question for a second that they could free me. They were willing without giving it a second thought to risk their lives amidst the clouds of dust and vapors of gasoline all about the site.
I recall it taking only moments for them to get into place. Then they all called out 1, 2, 3 lift. As they lifted I tried to free my arm. But it was not enough room. "Lord?!" Then I called to them, "can you lift a little higher? Do you know what I was asking of these brave and sweet people?
You have to realize, this was a 1967 Pontiac Sport Rally. And I did not know at the time it was covered with boulders as well. But the car alone weighed an immense amount. I am not certain how many people climbed down off that hill that early a.m. to save me, but there amidst the groaning and moaning of backs and bodies being stretched beyond their limits they found it within them to raise that car an inch of so more, freeing my arm. Then I heard sighs of physical relief as I have not heard since. I took a breath and scampered with assistance out the window of the car. I was so thankful.
The shock of what had occurred set in as I saw my car upside down with boulders sitting atop my recently filled, but now crushed gas tank. Yes, so thankful. I learned later that had I not just filled my gas tank it would have been more likely to have ignited from there having been more fumes than liquid in the tank when it was crushed.
Thank you God for the little moments, for your timing in life, for pauses, for every second you cover us with your wisdom and whispers.
And I kept thanking everyone who climbed down that hill that night. I was so grateful for those brave souls who risk their lives and health to free me. I wonder to this day if they might have harmed their own health to save me.
Lord, if so-bless them beyond measure and heal them. And be there for them and their families every time they need help.
Then things took action quickly. Some injuries were quite apparent. I had a compound fracture of my finger, it was literally hanging off my hand. I had crushed a couple other fingers and my arm, bashed my head and face in several places, banged and cut my leg and hip. I had to be carried up the hill by my friend. Of course others were asking what they could do to help. But off he went with me in his arms stumbling his way to the top of the 30+ foot embankment of nothing but boulders.
Another young man who was in a Z-28 asked if we knew the way to the hospital. I wanted to go to Baptist which was across town of course, and he said follow him. He hit his emergency blinkers, and we were off.
There is much more to the story that I can share at another time. Of other heroes awaiting at the hospital, more kindness shown me. But I will pause here because the point has been made.
I was blessed that night. Since that night I have come to realize I was blessed before I was born as we all are. This is what the Bible will tell you. I am born again, so I rely on this blessing daily in my life.
As for heroes as I tell of here, as shown in the video clip about the police officer, they are all around us. They are you, and me, when we choose to step up in a crisis. Some are called by their job description to be heroes, others by incident.
I ask that you begin to open yourself up to believing this is true. That people are good at heart. That our seemingly less than stellar behaviour at times is not what defines us. That we can and will answer life's call when we are asked in moments of great tragedy, or small but meaningful events to step up.
Be grateful daily for others. Grateful that you do not walk through this life alone. That someone has your back, even if you do not know who that someone might be, believe they will be there if necessary.
During these type incidents the people involved experience shock, awe, wonder, and inexplicably more.
Senses are heightened and awareness is made keen.
They are seemingly transcended.
What I am trying to say is this.That in any given moment of need...
Heroes can be you or me.
Heroes are people with hearts awakened suddenly.
Heroes experience the sense of being fully a-live!
We experience a glimpse of who we were created to be all along.
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