The weekend, there was little to nothing but cold air whistling around in the refrigerator. It was time for my big bimonthly grocery shopping extravaganza. The one I usually reserve for dark thirty on Saturday mornings. However, Jensen has been getting us up at all hours. Again.
So, any semblance of a schedule is out the window. For now. And this is really wreaking havoc on my early morning workout routine.
Sleep deprivation + no exercise = heightened depression.
I’m a bundle of fun lately.
“It’s just a season. It’s just a season.” (repeat while rocking oneself in the fetal position)
I took my two girls to brave the aisles of a very crowded Wal•Mart, to hunt and forage for our meals for the next two weeks. They are really well behaved as long as I don’t leave them to their own devices. Or let them steer a cart. I gave Emme the job of marking off the items from our list, and Cailey was to retrieve items from the shelf, and then alphabetize them in the cart.
It helps to keep Cailey really really busy.
Our cart was filled to the rim, and we had just a few more aisles to conquer. I noticed a young man, probably in his 20’s standing a few feet in front of us. He was blocking a cart from clearing the corner. At first I thought it odd, but then assumed that he must know the owner of that cart. And there was some good natured kidding going on.
Because I am awesome at pretending the sun is just one big smiley face, and everyone is happy, and there really is a Santa Claus.
Then, this young man had some sort of seizure, fell to the ground, unconscious, foaming at the mouth.
My heart stopped. I froze. There was complete silence around us for what seemed like an eternity. Instinctually, I reached for my cell phone, at the same time someone yelled “CALL 911!” Another gentleman was a faster draw than I and was calling on his phone, and already kneeling by the unconscious man checking his pulse and hollering orders.
I thought to myself, I want that guy to be shopping near me should I ever hit the concrete.
Turns out, he was an off duty police officer, just picking up a few things from the store.
I felt completely helpless. And I hated that feeling. I wanted to aid the unconscious man in some way, but my wringing of hands seldom lends help in any emergency I’m faced with.
I steered my girls out of the way. They were very shaken up and had many many questions. I answered them to the best of my ability. And then right there, in the middle of the chaos, I put my arms around my girls and we prayed for that man on the floor.
And a rush of peace came over me. And my daughters. A knowledge that even in calamity, God is on the throne.
I don’t know the fate of that young man. I know that help came swiftly. And I thank God for those men and women who choose professions that save and protect lives. I’m sure the mother of that young man feels the same way.
Sometimes I forget. I’m never completely helpless. The power of prayer, even the kind of disjointed prayer that falls out of my mouth in the produce aisle of Wal•Mart, trumps fear every single time. And like Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis in the movie Shadowlands says: “I don’t pray to change God, but so that God can change me.”
“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God’s eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when He catches us, as it were, off our guard.”