Sheila, was on life support, fighting for her life. The prognosis was critical. She was not expected to live. Her car veered out of control on a ramp and ended up on it´s roof, totally flattened. The firemen had to use the ´Jaws of Life´ to pry her out. She had two small kids. She was very young. Too young to die. For weeks she was at death´s door, barely alive and in coma. Relatives arrived from overseas. Arrangements were made for her funeral but against all odds, she survived.
I prepared to go and somehow get her to make things right with God. I decided I should first read up on coma patients because I had heard that they are aware of everything that is going on around them. Too many heartbroken survivors relay how well -meaning visitors talk about them as if they were already dead, refer to them in the third person and end up causing unintentional yet unimaginable hurt and pain.
To everyone´s amazement, Sheila came out of the coma. When I arrived at the hospital, she was wrestling with a nurse. Her eyeballs were rotating and she was flailing frantically at the nurse who was trying to keep her from ripping her diaper off. I closed one eye shut tight and yelled out, "SHEILA, PEEK-A-BOO, I SEE YOU!" Jerking her head in my direction, she instinctively mimicked my gesture, cocked her head to one side and closed one eye. Everything went into focus for her for the first time in months. With the world finally not spinning around about her, she calmed down. There was also recognition in that eye. She knew who I was. I realized I just witnessed a major breakthrough. I took hold of both her hands. As long as she kept one eye closed, she remained consoled. If she opened them both, her head would start to spin and she would panic. It didn´t take her long to learn to keep one shut.
She had been fed intravenously all this time so the nurse asked if I would try to feed her because I had a calming effect on her. Eat for me she did! Spinach yet! I had more green goop on the bedding than in her stomach but it was a start. I laughed and joked and kept repeating, "Thank God you are alive", knowing it would have an impact on her. Her demeanor changed and a peace and calmness settled upon her. Her eyes spoke volumes as she quizzically peered first out of one, than out the other. Her world stopped spinning. Her stomach was full. She heard people laugh. She soon dozed off.
I determined to come as often as I could. I determined to bring laughter and joy and realized through goosebumps that I could make a difference because her family and friends were traumatized and grief-stricken and mostly cried when they saw her. So, I brought in a cassette tape with a song about a little sparrow falling out of a tree and Jesus picking it up and holding it in the palm of His hand and making it all better. It even had birds chirping in the background. I saw tears in the nurse´s eyes every time I played it. The message was very clear. I thought of Matthew 10:31; "Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows"
Before long I was permitted to take Sheila to the cafeteria in a wheelchair. She immediately resisted, obviously aware that her shaved head was not very glamorous. So, I grabbed the bib tied around her neck and pulled it up over her head exclaiming , "Perfect! You look like Mother Teresa!" A big grin flashed across her face. When she reached up and felt the headgear she began to glow with esteem. We tied her in the chair and I raced down the hall like a little kid, weaving and whooping it up. Sheila squealed with delight. The nurses and doctors never once motioned for me to stop. They certainly understood what brings health and wellness.
Though Sheila could not speak, she did comprehend quite a bit so I propped my feet up on her bed, leaned back and began reading her a copy of my autobiography. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a tall hunk of a man walk in and visit with the lady laying in the other bed . Then, without looking at me, with his four foot shoulders squared, his head pointing straight ahead and his eyes fixed on some distant object, he demanded, "Is that your book?"
"Ummmm, yes" I managed to croak, not knowing what to expect next.
"Are you an author?" he asked without looking in my direction.
"If one book qualifies, I guess I am." I managed to answer.
"Well , I have a chapter for your next book!" he firmly stated.
It threw me for a loop. I wondered why this man would want to contribute some story to my next book and for what strange reason. He continued without waiting for my comment, "You see, my wife ended up in this bed on that very same day Sheila had her accident."
Well, so what, I thought, someone had to occupy that bed.
"That´s not all," he said choking back tears, "I was the fireman who was cutting Sheila out of her car at the exact same time my wife was having this stroke."
My heart welled up in my throat. I became choked with emotion when I realized how these two broken little sparrows intertwined and the enormity of this coincidence. Your mind goes numb. You positively KNOW that there is more to this than meets the eye.
"Oh, THERE IS MORE" burst from his lips while tears streamed down his face, "Sheila is our next door neighbor".
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com