I was with my mother in the emergency room of the hospital, waiting her turn to be treated for a relatively minor injury she'd sustained in a fall, when a young woman walked in whose calm voice seemed out of sync with the urgent message she delivered. "Excuse me," she said, "My father is having a stroke right outside the hospital. He needs help, immediately."
I began to pray for him right away, that he would be treated quickly and the damage would be minimal. I added these prayers to the ones for the baby boy who I'd heard was born five weeks early and those for a young woman who looked pregnant but who was sitting in distress and crying in the waiting room.
A few moments later the daughter of the man who was having the stroke came back into the waiting room to use the phone next to our seats. To the person at the other end she said, again with calm urgency, "This is serious, listen carefully, I'm at the hospital with Dad and he is having a stroke." She then instructed the person to call several people, asking them in turn to call others, "But first," she said, "Tell them to pray."
I was overwhelmed with emotion, knowing that almost as soon as she entered the hospital, I had begun to pray. I was very aware of God's care for her and for her father, and moved at the knowledge that he would place me there at just the right time.
I would have loved to tell her that someone had been praying all along, but I didn't have an opportunity. She never knew that God had her dad covered.
All of this happened in September, while my mother was with me on vacation. Three weeks later she flew home to England and within a week of her return she had a stroke outside the village post office, just after mailing me a letter. Being three thousand miles away I felt so helpless and far away, but I was comforted as I remembered the incident in the hospital. God was close at hand to watch over my precious mother, just as he had over someone else's father.
Psalm 91:11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;