Our running club lost a member last night. I didn’t know him personally. My runners (those I coach) were running our club weekly race and he finished and had some kind of health trauma which resulted in his untimely death. As we tended to him in the best way we could–CPR, cold water, calling 911, etc.–I felt a complete sense of uselessness. I am capable of CPR, but that was attended to by others. I poured water and looked for a pulse on his wrists, but watched as he slowly pulled in and out of consciousness.
The emergency squad arrived and our participation in the process of his resuscitation was quickly ended we found ourselves cut off from knowing the status of our fellow runner. We tried to keep the children occupied and documented the process as best as we could for others. And as the ambulance left 20 minutes later, we were left completely unaware of the status of our comrade.
The night ensued with much prayer and the morning run with my dear friend (also the club president) included great discussion of all the steps we used to try to save him. And then, mid-day, came the email. Our great and amazing Lord had decided it was our comrade’s time to join him at the great banquet table.
Unable to process, I became overwhelmed with this loss of a great stranger. Having held the hand of a man I do not know as he was lifted home to be with God. An honor and a devastation all at one time. My heart aches for his family. My mind swirls with the thoughts that always come with death; telling ones I love them, asking everyone to make sure their hearts are healthy, and most importantly, their soul’s right with the Lord.
I’m not particularly sure why this loss is impacting me so much. This man whose name I did not even know as he was attended to by other people unknown to him. Perhaps it is the realization or reaffirmation that God’s timing is not our own. Ironic in that was just what I was hearing on Christian talk radio this morning on my way to work. God answers prayers. He just might not answer them the way we want. God gives us everything we need and not more than we can handle. Though, at times, it may feel as if we are falling down the rabbit hole.
There is no real capstone to these thoughts. My mind still continues to swirl on them and so I cannot find an intelligent ending, except to say to you, dear reader….
I love you.
God loves you.
Have you seen your dr. lately to make sure all is ship-shape?
Are you in a place in your life where if the Lord took you today your family would be ok?
Have you done and seen as much as you possibly could in your life?
Again, you are loved, beyond measure.
Sarah, I know this is very hard for you – seeing someone die – especially someone who is seemingly healthy, having just run a race like you do all the time, is a confusing experience. Thank you for your words. I’m don’t actually believe that God “takes us” when it’s our time – I think circumstances take us – an illness, a car wreck, a stroke – the human circumstances that are just part of our sinful, willful, and physical world “take us.” I do believe God is there with us when we go, waiting with open arms to pull us into himself; and there with those left behind to strengthen and support us as we seek to understand life and death…. I love you!!Mom