After our misadventures of the night before, Mum and I woke up on the day of the wedding that we had traveled so far to attend, in the well appointed comfort of the de Lint's guest cabin.
I peeked through the slat of a blind and saw that we were in beautiful natural surroundings, with mountains beyond the trees that encircled the cabin.
We had not been up long when Cors de Lint came over from the house to check on his "patient."
As he carefully unwrapped the dressing that he had applied in the early hours of the morning, we both saw that the jagged gash was serious and in need of medical attention.
This only confirmed my assessment of the night before but we were grateful to at least have been refreshed by a few hours of sleep before going to Langley Memorial Hospital.
With Cors' directions we dressed for the wedding but set off for the hospital instead of the luncheon at Ingrid and Arthur's home We had no choice but to go with a different flow than we had planned.
We registered at the desk in the emergency department and settled in patiently, prepared to wait, knowing that in the triage process of a hospital we would not be the most urgent case to be seen.
A young woman walked into the emergency waiting room soon after we sat down, and said with unusual calm but great urgency to the nurse at the desk, "Excuse me, my father is having a stroke right outside the hospital. He needs help immediately."
I began to pray for him right away as I imagined the devastation that can happen in a brain in seconds. I prayed for protection of his brain, for quick intervention, for help for this man. I was surprised at the deep emotion that overwhelmed me as I prayed for him and I sensed that I was meant to be there, right at that moment.
A few seats away sat a young couple. The woman was pregnant, in distress and crying. I silently prayed for them too, as well as the baby boy I heard about who had been born 5 weeks prematurely.
The drama that unfolds in a hospital emergency department could keep a person praying all day long, I realized.
A few moments later, the young woman whose father was having a stroke, returned and made a phone call. To the person at the other end, she said, in the same tone of controlled calm but intensity, "This is serious, listen carefully. I'm at hospital with Dad, and he is having a stroke."
She then gave instructions to the person she was speaking to, to make calls to several other people, asking them to also pass on the information, "But first," she said, "tell them to pray."
All of the events of the past 24 hours had been woven together mysteriously, so that before she even asked for prayer, it was fervently being offered, by a stranger.
She hung up the phone and left so quickly that I had no chance to tell her. She never knew of this sign of God's care for one of his children.
And I didn't know how important that moment would be for me over the coming months.
To be continued...