Monday, May 05, 2008

Breathless wonder

Today’s Reading: John 11:38-40 (NIV)

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” He said. “But Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Good morning!

Last night, I was working at the computer, taking an online test for work, when my cell phone rang. I heard the words a grandmother does not ever want to hear. “Maddie has stopped breathing; she’s been taken by ambulance – Ben is on his way to the hospital – go NOW.” I promptly failed the online exam I was taking, grabbed my shoes, husband and car keys, and off we sped to the hospital ER, wondering what in the world had happened. It was an awful ten minute moment in the car. I don’t think I took a deep breath from the time the phone call came until we arrived at the ER.

Kari’s mother was panic-stricken, and with good reason. I thought she might pass out in my arms as we grandmothers cried together in the hospital corridor. Apparently, Madison was wailing for Mommy to pick her up when she suddenly stopped breathing and fell like a limp rag into my daughter-in-law’s arms. It appeared as if Maddie might have suffered a small seizure and then there was nothing; no movement, no response. She was breathless. Nancy said they called 911 but it took an eternity for the paramedics to arrive. When fear grips us, seconds seem like an eternity. What do you do when someone you love becomes breathless?

By the time the paramedics got Maddie to the hospital, she was awake and breathing normally again. An oxygen mask helped boost her air intake. Maddie was fussy and sleepy looking, but breathing on her own. Two hours later, the ER doc gave us the good news – Maddie had experienced what pediatricians have coined as a breath holding spell. A common occurrence for many strong-willed two year olds who startle suddenly or want something that is out of their reach, they begin to cry uncontrollably, and without warning, suddenly pass out, becoming limp and lifeless. That momentary shut down gives their brain a chance to do a little remix. Maddie had not had the life-threatening seizure as we had feared and she had not choked or aspirated on the Popsicle® she had just consumed. It wasn’t a diabetic response to the sugar intake, and fortunately, Maddie had not choked. This was the best case scenario to a very frightening life event. We returned home with grateful hearts, thanking God for life and breath and the priceless gift of our granddaughter Madison.

Jesus stood at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. There was no breath – no life; only the sounds of the weeping women who had lost their brother to death’s strong grip. When Jesus commanded the men to roll away the stone, Martha feared the worst. Her brother had been breathless for four days and she was certain the foul stench would overcome them all. Jesus spoke new breath into Martha’s fainting heart when He said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

We experience life, death, and a lot of breathless moments every day. God's glory is revealed through faith, and it is that faith which we cling to for new life. Can you see the glory of God shining this morning? He reveals His amazing power to you and me in these moments of breathless wonder.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

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