Monday, March 10, 2014

Knowing What To Do

I got my BA from Cedarville College, a Baptist college that had chapel every day. One day I walked into chapel and sat down. I heard something that sounded a little off. The music from the piano and organ was doing a prelude to the service, but I could hear much more quietly a sort of huffing sound. I turned to look and saw a girl lying in the aisle shaking.

I said this was a Baptist institution, so you should realize she wasn't speaking in tongues nor was she slain in the Spirit. She was in convulsions from an epileptic seizure.

I felt a little embarrassed. Looked away, and wondered what I should do about this. The girl was clearly in some kind of state. Something had to be done, but I didn't have any idea what. I felt quite helpless. Others noticed and started whispering to each other, obviously feeling much like I did.

Then my friend Dave Kisner walked in. He sat down in a nearby pew. Looked around, saw the fuss, and without pause he strode out of the room to call in a medical emergency. He returned moments later and ministered to her needs until a couple EMTs took over. Then he resumed his seat.

While I was dithering and feeling helpless, Dave knew what to do. He took charge and got help. I remember it over three decades later.

I vowed that if ever presented with that situation again, I'd follow Dave's example.

Today I read this story about how Robert Downey, Jr. administered first aid to her grandmother.

I must admit that I have little in common with ACLU and Hollywood folk. I think you might say our respective orbital inclinations differ by about 180 degrees.

Nevertheless, I could really empathize with Ms. Dana Reinhardt who related her experience. I've been there. It wasn't blood, and the victim wasn't my grandmother, but I recognized her helpless feeling.

Life administers pop quizzes. We may choke like Ms. Reinhardt or I did. Or we may excel as Mr. Downey or Mr. Kisner did. I suspect more of us choke than excel, but this doesn't mean we can't learn and be ready next time.

It's all knowing what to do then doing it.

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