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Opportunity in Disaster

Blood spurted from his head and Josiah was crying loudly. When Olivia yelled, "Mom, Jeremiah hit Josiah with a rock, come quick", I was at the door. "He's bleeding", she screached.

I ran to the beach. His mass of curls were covered in blood and it was running down his face and onto the sand. Olivia was screaming now and so were Jeremiah and Josiah. For a split second, I wondered how clean my hands were and then it no longer mattered. I had to get the bleeding to stop. I covered the place with my hand, applying gentle pressure. There was no hope of seeing the laceration - too much hair, too much blood. I wrapped my free arm around Josiah's tummy and pressed his head to my chest, careful to maintain the gentle but steady pressure.

The rock was large, probably weighing about a pound. He needed stitches, that much was clear. There was now blood all around me and the deck was covered. It was streaming down his face. I thanked God for his loud and frantic cries, knowing it was a good thing. Hannah panicked and was also crying. She was unable to receive instruction. Joshua was crying and Olivia was beginning to panic. None of the children had seen so much blood and it frightened them. I asked Joshua to go to the dining room and grab a clean dish towel from the buffet. He was inside the cottage asking, "What's a buffet?"

With some confusion,we controlled Josiah's bleeding and the immediate emergency was over. The situation, as I learned later, fell into the definition of a disaster.

I called on our Heavenly Father and 9-1-1. I was thankful for the help of both.

Everyone was calm as we awaited the ambulance. Josh confessed, I thought he was going to die. He's not, is he mom?"

I realized all three had similiar thoughts for their eyes were turned to me and they were expectant for the answer. I explained, "Josiah is going to be just fine. He needs stitches. He's alert, conscious, and he's now only bleeding a little. Look at him."

Josiah was snuggled in my arms and happily chatting.

All 6 of us went to Midland District Hospital by ambulance. The ambulance attendant, Steve, rated Josiah's condition a 3 on a scale of 1-4 in severity. There were lights but no sirens. We were on a direct route to the hospital. Josiah was stable but the blood was still oozing through the new dressing Steve had put on. I told him, "Thanks for sharing about the scale. I was beginning to feel bad for using the ambulance service unnecessarily and deterring them from other life-threatening calls."

Steve smiled and reassured me further, "In training, a disaster is defined as any emergency where the need exceeds the resources. By all accounts this qualifies. You did the right thing at every level."

I smiled because by that definition, many of us experince varying degrees of disasters regularily. Yet we have a Heavenly Father who pours into us so our resources meet the need, moment by moment. Our Father is faithful. His grace is sufficient. These disasters provide opportunities for us to realize our frailty and need.

We learn to put our strength in our Lord God and not in others, or ourselves. His power is made perfect in our weakness.

Once at the hospital, Josiah got his stitches. We were back to the cottage by 2:30 p.m. The incident probably happened around 11:00 a.m. Although things went well, I felt stretched.

Once again, I called on God. Here was another situation where the need exceeded my strained resources. God was faithful. Hannah and I got lunch. They were all really hungry. I was not.

We thanked God for His goodness and His grace and that He is an ever-present help in trouble. Often it is in disaster, that we experience the fullness of God's love. We had felt the loving hand of God throughout the ordeal.

We are so thankful that Josiah only required stitches.

The children will soon have the opportunity to learn some basic first aid so they will be better equipped for future emergencies. We are thankful for this experience that has shown us the need.

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