“Mom! There’s a guy lying in the parking lot, and I think he’s dead!” Those were the words I heard as my son, Adam rushed into the house this afternoon.
If you don’t know, my husband is the pastor of a small church in SW Florida. We live in a parsonage on the church property, so the parking lot is right outside our back door.
I followed Adam quickly back outside still trying to wrap my head around what he had just said. Someone dead in our parking lot? I soon realized he wasn’t joking. As I approached the far corner of the church property I could see a young man lying on the black top. I called 911 and both Adam and I ran to his side.
He was blue, from his face to his fingers. He was unresponsive and barely breathing. I gave the 911 operator our location and with the help of a passerby we turned him over onto his back and started chest compressions. As I counted Adam through each set of compressions 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, I prayed! I have never prayed so hard. Adam and Jonathan (the passerby) alternated in giving compressions as I held his head in my hands to keep it off the hot blacktop. “Jesus, please touch him. Jesus, please don’t let him die” It was intense to say the least.
Soon, we heard the wonderful sound of sirens. Help was on the way, and they were close. The paramedics arrived within five minutes of my call.
As the paramedics ran toward us I could already see that color was starting to come back into the young man’s face. “Keep going!” they said to Adam, “don’t stop yet!” A flurry of activity followed as they went to work. I continued to hold his head steady, as we weren’t really sure if he had trauma or if it was something different.
After a couple of minutes Adam, Jonathan and I stepped back as the paramedics took completely over. They worked on him for a few minutes and then loaded him into the ambulance.
It turns out that it was a drug overdose. A choice that would have certainly taken his life if Adam had not seen him when he did. I pray for this young man tonight. Not only that God would return him to full health, but that he would also recognize and seek out the God who saved him.
Initially I wasn’t going to share this story anywhere. I told my parents, my sister in law and a close friend and that was enough. But, as I was thinking about what transpired today, I couldn’t help but be grateful and in awe of God’s mercy.
This young man’s life was hanging on by a thread. He was on the verge of stepping into eternity. But God! God prompted my son Adam to go outside. God knew we would be home today and could assist. God gave us the ability to think clearly and intentionally. God put us there so we could pray over him as we assisted. God gave this young man another chance at life. He has a plan.
So my encouragement to you is this; treasure life. It isn’t until you experience it slipping away that you fully realize just how fragile it really is. Secondly, listen for those small whispers. Pay attention to those nudges to do something or go somewhere. Those whispers and nudges could very well be what God used to change someone else’s destiny.
Oh, and one last thing! My son is a hero 🙂