Our minister was in the last moments of the sermon. All were intent on his message, when a voice cried out, “We don’t have a pulse!” All eyes turned to focus on the commotion in the congregation. You could have heard a pin drop, as they say.“We need a doctor! Call 911!” We were in the balcony and had a front row seat to the quickness of the response of a congregation of over 3,000. Doctors ran, the in-house medics were there in seconds. The minister called for prayer and began a vocal prayer of his own. Seconds seemed like hours. The cry,“We have a pulse, now!” Audible breaths of release could be heard all ’round. A woman could be seen fanning the air with a program to cool, I’m sure, a body under stress. A messenger unseen rushed to the minister. “The woman is a diabetic and her sugar has dropped. She will survive. Continue your prayers! Our service is dismissed.” A quiet round of grateful applause for the saving of a life right before our eyes passed through the room. I couldn’t leave. A wheelchair, not a stretcher passed by. I would not leave until I saw the woman up and breathing. We saw her. Others surrounded her as she was taken to the exit. Those at the scene picked up her belongings and other paraphenalia that had been used to comfort the woman. My whole body had been tense. I am sure I was definitely not alone.
Shame on me for not trusting that You, Dear Lord, were absolutely there! Upon reflection, this precious child of Yours collapsed in the quietest moments of the service; all the lights were on; she didn’t pass out during the music, which is loud; nor in the dark where only colored stage lights are lit; she was not alone; she was not at home where help could not have arrived in time; she was surrounded by doctors, nurses, and medics that knew exactly what to do; she was in Your House, Dear Lord. This was Your plan for her life. This scene reminded all-the breath of life can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye!
The sermon had been about Your plan for Jesus’ birth that in truth provided all needed, not desired, but needed for the babe and his parents. Your precious child; Your only child received Your protection, care, provision, human comfort, warmth, and people surrounding Him to assist and provide watch care over Him. Not only human comfort, but the light of the most Magnificent Star; the Heavenly Host of angels praising You, Dear Lord; the first breath of life heard from Your only son; lowing, cooing, and warmth of the animals nearby comforting all there; wise men from afar arriving later, to offer worldly gifts, to welcome Jesus into the community of man; and angelic warnings that saved the babe from an early unplanned death.
Little did the minister, nor the congregation in those moments realize the depth of understanding of the Christmas Story we witnessed-in the blink of an eye-in the Year of Our Lord, two thousand sixteen.
I can add little to this experience, but thanksgiving for the life saved, the miracle witnessed, and the sermon You taught us all this Sabbath Day-in the blink of an eye!
And All the Congregation said, “AMEN!”