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"I write what I see, and it comes from the heart." .....Jon C. Randall
It was a late summer afternoon when I got the call from the Sheriff's Office dispatcher that a man was down and injured badly. Acknowledging receiving the address and ambulance dispatch with a "10-4." I glanced quickly at the city map and flicked on the blue lights and siren, heading in the general vicinity of where I thought it should be. Realizing that I was making a wrong turn, backed into light traffic and went the other way, feeling red faced that I didn't know this little town called Smackover well enough. Though only my second day on the force, having just started the second shift on the three-man police department, I was highly concerned as a human life was in jeopardy.
Arriving upon location, I observed a small group of women standing in the side yard, and as I exited the patrol unit, heard one of them crying as another just pointed towards the rear of the house, sending an unspoken thought with anguished grief through her eyes. A third one yelled that the ambulance had been called. Going through a gateway, I noticed a tree that had been cut and bent sharply, jack knifed, with an orange chainsaw lying at the base of it. Looking to my right, I saw an old black man sitting down on the ground leaning against another tree, staring directly at me while holding his spewed guts in his hands attempting to hold them in, while part of his brain was hanging out from the massive wound in his head. We were all alone, just him and I.
I stood there for a second, and then kneeled in front of him, looking directly into his eyes. What I saw, was a gentle man whose soul was at peace within. There wasn't much you can say in this situation, and asked him how he was doing.
"I'll be alright," was his reply, "as well as to be expected."
I asked him then what had happened.
"I was a cuttin on that tree there when it jack knifed and got my gut, and the chainsaw just sorta flew up and cut me here," he lifted his right hand and pointing to his head. What surprised me was how lucid and calm were his words as he spoke to me. I told him the ambulance was on its way.
I stood up for a bit and walked to the tree, looking at it, then the chainsaw on the ground. Many thoughts ran through my mind, and then I turned around and went back to the man. I asked him his name and if he had family. He told me, and then quietly talked about them. Eons passed, and still no sign of an ambulance. I kneeled back down in front of him.
My immediate desire was to want to reach out and heal him, to restore him back to whole. The challenge flashed through my mind if I had enough faith to do it, trusting Him for His power. I knew then immediately how limited man is, helpless in such situations. I weighed it out, and my mind flashed through the Scriptures of the authority the Father bestowed upon His Son, who gave it first to the twelve, then the seventy. My authority was limited under cover of government and law, and I was not numbered among the twelve, or the seventy, whose sole purpose of having that authority was in substantiation that Jesus was indeed the Christ of God, open proof to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. They do not walk the face of this earth, at this time.
My mind swept the panorama of the Acts of the Apostles and of Him, as they walked this earth in their ministry, in service to Him of His will and power. I am awed by what He is capable of, from the creation of this earth and heavens through the spoken word, to the last act of physical healing He did when He touched the severed ear of the slave of the high priest, and healed him there in the garden, that right ear slashed off by Peter with a sword. We, who think we are something, even to doctors, are capable of nothing, in comparison to His power and might. And as I kneeled before this gentle man, who was dying, I understood in humbleness, of who He is, who died for me as well.
I asked this man if he had made peace with God, and was prepared to meet Him.
"Yes, I know the Lord," was his reply, "and I'm ready to go meet Him."
"You mean that you accepted Jesus the Christ as your Lord and savior?"
"Oh yes sir," he quietly spoke with deep conviction. I knew then he was in His hands, and there was nothing more that I needed to or could say or do, but silently pray. As I looked deep within his eyes I felt a peace, as I heard the distant wail of a siren, I knew that this quiet and gentle man, would soon be going home.
I stayed in touch with his family briefly, and learned he died three days later in Little Rock. Now sixteen years and two months later, the memory of that day burned deep within my spirit, I realize now even more, how fragile life can be. And to the same measure that I had asked that dying gentle man, I now ask you: "Have you made peace with God, and are you prepared to meet Him?" It is my hope that you can as well say with deep conviction: "Yes, I know the Lord, and I'm ready to go meet Him."
© Copyright 1997 Jon C. Randall
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