To Save a Life

>> Saturday, August 6, 2011

She was 36 hours old … I was 16 … when the doctor placed her in my arms. He patted me on the back and said, “She may die before you get there. If she does, do not react. Arden would probably have a wreck.”  

Arden was the baby’s father. Her mother … Lila … was still hospitalized due to complications from childbirth. My fiancé and I knew them from church; so when the baby needed to be transported from a hospital in Emporia, Kansas to a hospital in Kansas City, he had chosen us to ride with him … me in the back seat … holding Trudy, the newborn.  

As the car flew down the Interstate through the darkness, I watched every breath she took … just waiting for her little chest to stop rising and falling. After a myriad of tests, the diagnosis indicated no food had ever entered her stomach. She was starving to death.  

When we finally reached the Kansas City hospital, I thought my job would be over … that someone from the hospital would relieve me of my burden. Not so. The tile floor of the building had three different colored lines on it. We were to follow the green one. Still very aware of every breath Trudy took, we raced through the hallways to the right section.  

Now, surely, someone would take this baby from my arms and help her. Still didn’t happen. No one seemed to understand this was an emergency. Paperwork came next. Another hour had passed before we were ushered into a room where a surgical team gathered. Only then was Trudy released into their care. My arms were suddenly very empty.  

I will never forget the urgency I felt as I carried out my commission. The fact that Arden was driving like a maniac at a speed the car could barely maintain did not faze me. Knowing my mother had condemned me to hell for going out of town with two men … neither of them my husband … and perhaps spending the night … did not stop me from focusing on the need at hand … Trudy.  

She lived.  

As I re-live that night, my thoughts turn to another commission I have been given as a Christ-follower. I am to go out and tell others about a way of life that gives them freedom and choices … and peace … and hope … and saves their life. I am not supposed to search for someone else to help them. When opposition comes or it seems the situation is out of control, my love and caring still needs to be focused on that person in need.  

And so I ask, how well am I doing? What about you?

Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 (MSG)


Rita Garcia August 6, 2011 at 6:39 AM  

Wow, what an experience and what an even more powerful analogy! I'm am blessed each time I visit your blog! Hugs!

Joy Bach August 6, 2011 at 8:45 AM  

Rita thanks so much. Today that baby would be over 50 years old. Yet the experience is still vivid.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps August 7, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

Intense and exciting - you definitely made your points in this piece. SO glad the baby lived...

Joy Bach August 8, 2011 at 10:35 AM  

Thanks Marijo. I love it when I hear from you.

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