I remember when I was in college, one of my nephews (Justin) was four years old. I remember thinking that I would have rather died than to suffer his death. At the age of 21, I had my first taste of really understanding the kind of love that would make you want to give up your life for another. Unfortunately, sometimes the people who are the most willing to give up their lives are the ones left behind. They are the ones that do suffer the loss of their loved ones. My sister and brother-in-law (Terry and Bob) are in that category. Their son (Robby) died as a young adult. His death was the worst experience of my life. I was supposed to be a pall bearer, but couldn't compose myself to do so. I walked behind the coffin, sobbing. Hannah was a baby at the time. Once you have kids, you get a quick taste of the fear of death. Not the fear of your death; rather, the fear of the loss of your loved one.
I had a reminder of that yesterday. I was driving Colton to a friend's house when we both saw a horrible sight. There was a teenager lying in the middle of the street--face down. His skate-board was lying about five feet away. It was a hit and run. A cop and a lady were talking quietly near the body, but they were not addressing the body. I spoke to Colton, saying, "If he was just hurt, they'd be sitting next to him, telling him to hang on until the ambulance arrives."
Colton looked closely, noting, "I can't see him breathing."
Our hearts sank and we began to pray in earnest. If he was dead, then we prayed him back to life. If he was wounded, then we prayed for healing. As we drove away, we could hear the sirens of the ambulance coming.
The night before, we watched the TV detective show, Monk. (Lena bought me 8 episodes for Christmas.) Each episode begins with a murder. The rest of the show is a combination of mystery and comedy. We never mourn for the victim. The show is not about the victim. It's about how good your feel when the detective solves the crime. But when it's not a TV show, the reality is almost too painful to imagine. Empathy wells up like a flood and we have feelings of great remorse for the loved ones left behind. I thought about the young man's mother. She thought he was just outside playing. It began to tear me up. I prayed, on and off, for the rest of the night. I prayed for the boy, but after hours of worry, I also prayed for myself. I asked the Lord to reveal to me what happened. I told the Lord, "This is really upsetting me. What about his mom? I want relief Lord."
After many hours, it was time to go back to get Colton. I drove past the very spot and slowed down to look for any sign of what happened. There was a patch on the street that looked like blood. I looked ahead and saw a night guard sitting in front of a restaurant. I pulled over and asked about the boy, saying, "I drove by earlier and their was a boy lying in the street."
"Yea. It was a hit and run."
"Did the boy survive?"
The guard answered, "Yes." My heart leapt within me.
"But I drove by right after it happened and he looked dead."
"Yep. But when the ambulance arrived, he revived. They helped him up and he was able to climb into the ambulance on his own legs."
I could hardly believe it. Instantly, the feelings of oppression passed. I was able to breath.
Was it our prayers that revived the boy or would he have recovered just as well in the natural. That, we will never know. But I know that God heard me and I know that tonight, a mother has her son to hug one more time.