The following is an excerpt from a novel I have been wrestling with. . . . . . .
Eugene pushed through the terror of what was happening to Samuel. He has drove to the hospital dozens of times for emergencies throughout his many years of ministry. Every frantic call he received from a parish member saying he was needed was his opportunity to show God’s miraculous hand. He would use the 15 minute drive to the hospital to pray for the family and to take as many deep breaths as he could in order to enter the hospital as centered and grounded as possible.
Eugene never fully understood why God chose to show his miraculous hand for some families but then appeared almost aloof or indifferent for other families. He just reassured every family he ministered to that God was in control and God’s ways are not man’s ways. Sometimes the power of those words felt empty especially when a family was dealing with an unexpected loss.
One family in particular, the Wilson’s, went so far as cussing him out after their healthy 13-year-old standout athlete died unexpectedly during a basketball game. The Wilson’s boy played AAU travel basketball with Samuel so Eugene knew the family well even though they didn’t attend his church.
During the third of four games on a busy Saturday afternoon, the Wilson’s 13-year-old boy fell unconscious. The gym went silent as the boy lay motionless near the free throw line. Everyone assumed he hit his head or sprained an ankle but when he didn’t move after several minutes the seriousness of the situation escalated. Someone near the concession stand called 9-1-1 right away and within 14 minutes the EMTs arrived.
Eugene could see the terror on Samuel’s face while his friend lay motionless on the gym floor. Eugene took Cathy’s hand as tight as he could without hurting her and began to pray out loud. He summoned the Lord’s miraculous hand to touch the Wilson boy and heal him completely. The longer he prayed, the louder his voice got until his was the only voice in the gymnasium that was heard.
Suddenly, Eugene’s voice was abruptly interrupted by Mr. Wilson’s reprimanding voice: “Eugene, please shut up! We don’t need your religion; we need EMTs and doctors for our son right now!”
A few people gasped, a couple kids from the visiting team chuckled, but the rest of the gym stayed focused on the Wilson’s boy. Eugene respectfully stopped praying out loud but fervently continued under his breath. He was certain the Lord would use this opportunity to show His mighty miraculous hand.
Twenty minutes after the EMT worked on the boy, they strapped him to a board and wheeled him out to the ambulance. Nobody clapped and nobody moved from their shocked positions with their hands over their mouths while he was wheeled away. Tears streamed down every female’s face, including Cathy’s, and several of the men’s as well. An uneasiness came over the gym when a young boy was heard saying, “He’s gonna be alright, isn’t he momma?”
After the coaches got together and decided they didn’t want to finish the game, Samuel’s coach put his hands in the air and gathered everyone’s attention. “Excuse me; in respect of the Wilsons and the rest of these young men, we’ve decided to discontinue the rest of the games for today. Please be careful on your way home.”
As Eugene, Cathy, and Samuel each quietly climbed into the car, Eugene looked at Samuel in the back seat and could see the tears welled up in his eyes. “Son, your friend will be alright. I just know the Lord will heal him no matter what is wrong with him.”
“Dad, I heard the EMTs say he didn’t have a pulse. They were talking about some kind of heart failure or stroke. I don’t know what those things are but it didn’t sound too good. How can you be so certain the Lord will save him?”
“Well son,” Eugene replied, “you are a perfect example of God’s miraculous hand. We were told by doctors our opportunity for having our own children was all but over. We lost three of your siblings before you were born during the pregnancy and the doctors said there was too much scar tissue on your mom’s fallopian tubes to ever have a baby. We continued to pray, however, and eventually, in God’s perfect timing you were born.”
“Just because I was born doesn’t mean . . . Uh, nevermind.” Samuel trailed off and put his head down while Eugene headed for the hospital.