Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Last in the Class

An amazing thing happened this week to drill in the lesson of 2 Corinthians 12:9: "My power is made perfect in weakness."

Friday night I was on my way to a concert and took a wrong turn. I was totally lost and hopelessly late when I randomly chose a side road on which to turn around. About half way down the quiet suburban street, I came across a man lying motionless on the side of the road beside a running car with the passenger door standing wide open.

A young man materialized from the driver's side of the car on his cell phone and confessed to the 911 operator that his father had heart disease and diabetes but he didn't know CPR.

The fallen man had no pulse and was not breathing. It appeared to be a heart attack. With no one else in sight, I was the best choice - the only choice - of helping this man. Panic filled my guts. To fully comprehend this, you must understand that I was dead last in the CPR class I had taken years before. The instructor only signed my card to get rid of me after everyone had gone home and I was still fruitlessly pounding away on my dummy. I was about as unqualified a rescuer as you could get.

To abbreviate the story, I ended up doing the Debbie version of CPR on this poor man for 10 minutes before EMS arrived. I couldn't remember the correct positions, ratio of chest compressions to mouth-to-mouth breaths, or much of anything else, but I figured something was better than nothing.

After three cycles of CPR, his chin quivered and he vomited. We had a heartbeat. Praise God! I could hear the ambulance siren in the distance so I just kept compressing until the EMT's took over. He never regained consciousness but he was breathing and had a heartbeat as they drove him away.

Returning to my car, I was shaking so violently that I couldn't turn the ignition key and fumbled my cell phone across the floorboard. Tears finally came and I realized I shouldn't even have been there. It was so obvious that God had orchestrated the whole ordeal . . . from the wrong turn to my random choice of turn-around streets.

How marvelous that our God's preferred M.O. is to use inadequate, unqualified people to serve as His hands and feet. Even if you're dead last in your class.