Friday, December 10, 2004

My Half of Georgia

Part of my job is to drive all over hell and half of Georgia (No offense intended to people who live there. It’s just a saying but God knows, they do have my sympathy). The mileage that we accrue in hospice home care is pretty incredible. The up side is that we get a lot of fresh air but the down side that every mile increases the odds that we’ll be involved in accidents or experience some of the harsh reality of the road first hand.

My turn came today when I hurried to a twisted pile of metal on a busy interstate and helped four other men pry a demolished door off of a little girl’s foot while her daddy held her bleeding head and tugged her loose. She was a beautiful little 5 year-old with red ribbons tied in her hair and stomach contents running from her nose. I noticed how her long, silky eye lashes and honey brown skin contrasted with the blood seeping from her eyes and my soul staggered with sorrow for I suspected the meaning of that leak. But she breathed and her heart pulsed. As her daddy sobbed her name, I rubbed his shoulders and told him that God was near. The eyewitness to the accident was clutching my hand so hard it hurt while she prayed in Spanish. I heard her prayers going to Mother Mary and I loved she and the Holy Mother for it and I’m a born Protestant.

Soon I got my beautiful prayer partner and our frantic daddy out of the way of the pros. We were about 3 feet away when a paramedic walked up to daddy and knelt at his feet. He started to back away when I realized what she was doing and I said, “Stand still.” Daddy’s boot had come untied and the paramedic in her immaculate uniform knelt on the rain-puddled interstate and tied it without a word then went back to her place near the ambulance. My soul staggered again, this time with awe, for I knew I’d seen Christ.

There’s no need for me to become sentimental about the spiritual implications of the scene nor is there a need for a sermon. The rest of my life I will see that grief-filled man standing in the middle of the road with the paramedic kneeling in the rain performing that simple act of compassion. That awful, obscene wreck became a sacred place for a few minutes because it brought together at one point in the universe a critical need, authentic and compassionate people, and the presence of God.


At Saturday, 11 December, 2004 , Blogger Meredith said...

Dear Ken,

How beautifully you describe the Presence of God. You have felt this holiness amidst apparent wreckage, and witnessed this Presence through authentic and compassionatate people, as it is witnessed by others through you.

With grateful compassion,

At Friday, 17 December, 2004 , Blogger Larry said...

A moving post, Ken. I've noticed you don't use much 'God talk', but you sure bring us before the Presence here.

At Tuesday, 21 December, 2004 , Blogger Marjorie said...

beautifully written -- so strange to find such beauty and evidence of God in the truly horrific.


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