Ya Just Never Know

4:48 PMHeather

About a year ago, through the wonders of Facebook, I reconnected with one of my high school BFF's. We'd lost track for years, and realized we now live about 25 minutes apart. It's become a fun routine to meet up for lunch regularly, and Fuddruckers has become "our place."

Today started like any other Tuesday. Woke up tired from staying up too late--again. Stumbled through getting the kids off to school--again. Got myself ready and hit the grocery store to Grocery Game--again. And, set off to meet Shannon for our regular lunch date--again.

We were about half-way through our meal when I heard a bit of commotion, and looked at the table next to us. I saw a man, his face beet red, leaning on his chair, kneeling on the floor, and moaning. Just like in the movies--it all seemed to happen in slow motion. He fell to the floor, and his friends surrounded him. One calmly said, "He's not breathing." Another called 911 before I could even reach my phone. Two men began to perform CPR, and several people worked together to push the table and chairs out of the way. Most of us stood by helpless, waiting for what seemed an eternity for the ambulance (we later found out it was only 4.5 minutes). The man finally came to, blood pouring from his mouth and nose. I won't ever forget the look of fear and distress on his face. His friends were amazing--calmly telling him that help was almost here, and he seemed to have a seizure. I approached the only lady in the group, and asked if I could help in any way. That was the extent of my contribution, other than the silent praying throughout the situation.

The paramedics attended to him, placed a neck brace on him, and got him on a back board. They wheeled him out to the waiting ambulance, and those of us left standing around just stared at each other.

Shannon and I finally sat down, our stomachs churning, feeling completely shaken. We shared our observations with each other and some of the other bystanders, all affected by what we'd observed. About 30 minutes later, we seemed to share the exact same thought. The crowd had left, and new patrons had arrived, unaware and unfazed by the trauma we'd witnessed. We both commented how these people came in, completely oblivious to what had just happened.

I've spent the afternoon mulling over this, turning the events over and over in my mind, and praying for the man. I felt peace knowing that while I don't even know his name, my God knows the number of hairs on his head. I was just thinking back through it, and asked the Lord, "Why did I see this? What is the lesson here? What nugget do you have for me?"

A thought came to my mind. When do we enter a restaurant, unaware of the trauma that has just happened? When do we drive down the highway, not knowing about the life changing accident that was just cleared? When do we bump into someone--or even have a bond with someone--with no clue as to the pain and heartache they have endured? Ya' just never know. But, perhaps I can pray for eyes to see, and wisdom and grace to assume the best about people-- to know that what I can observe may not be the whole story. Ya' just never know.

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