Tears covered every inch of his cheeks and I'll never forget the look in his eyes window through window. I told the kids to stay put and I went and joined him in his truck instantly bombarding him with "honey, what's wrong"? My guy is big and strong, but so tender hearted and in the many years we've been Gene & Lelia I've seen him shed a tear or two, but weeping was another thing.
He finally got it out pausing to catch his breath as the tears would not stop pouring out of him. Here's what happened:
He had just left work and was waiting at the light. He was going to turn right onto the ramp that would take him onto the highway toward the Y. All of a sudden he heard, didn't see, but heard a horrific clash of metal and when he turned his head to see what it was he saw the aftermath of a truck that hit a small station wagon in the intersection before him. Immediately he threw his truck into park, unbuckled and ran to see if everyone was okay.
Carl wasn't. Carl he would later learn his name was in the yellow station wagon covered with his place of work on it. His body was leaning all the way over into the passenger seat. His eyes were fixed and his breathing was labored. Instantly a lady in army fatigues commanded Gene to go get her key chain out of the ignition of her car. He said he remembered as he ran to do what he was told thinking how strange that she was worrying about someone stealing her car, but away he went. He returned and handed the keys to her and she popped open this thing which had a CPR mask on it and had it ready to use. Some guy ran and grabbed a towel as Carl started bleeding deep purple blood from his nose. No one could get the door open and with everything, Gene preyed it open so they could get to him while the driver of the truck was calling for help. Everyone was trying to save the life of this stranger.
As I sat crying listening to my husband and thanking God he was safe, Gene kept saying "Lea, I couldn't do anything. There was nothing I could do. I wanted to help him so bad, but I couldn't do anything. So I just held his head and started to say In the Name of Jesus, In the Name of Jesus over and over again. I probably said it over him 50 times."
Gene then looked up at me and with a gush of tears said, "I watched a man die today honey and there wasn't anything I could do." He cried so hard as I held this man in my arms.
We cried, hugged, prayed and decided to go home. I called my Mom to ask for prayer because I had only seen my husband this broken one other time and it was when his sister Ment was sick before her untimely death. When I shared his grief of not being able to rescue Carl from death with my Mom, she said, "You tell Gene that he did what he was supposed to do. Everyone had a job. The army lady was in charge. The man ran and got a towel. Gene was supposed to say the Name of Jesus over Carl and that's it. He wasn't supposed to save him. He did his job. He did what he was there to do. He did what God had him there for."
I passed that on to Gene and he nodded his head in agreement and instantly he looked a little less responsible for Carl's death. When I called our church to share with them for prayer they had already heard about it. Just so happened that Carl was a co-worker of one of our church members.
Later that evening our church member, Angela called us at home. Her husband worked with Carl and she wanted to thank Gene for being there. She wanted to thank Gene for saying the Name of Jesus over Carl while he was dying. See, for 2 years Angela and her husband had been witnessing to Carl and his wife. Hearing what Gene had done out of desperation brought much comfort to Angela and her husband even though Carl never let them know if he had extended Jesus an invitation into his life or not. Just like Gene, Angela and her husband's job wasn't to save Carl. They were to plant seeds and tell him about Jesus. They did what they were supposed to do.
Everyday we are face to face with dying people. People that don't know Jesus Christ as their Savior. What is our conversation like with them? Do we say the Name of Jesus over them or do we just make small talk?
I found myself thinking of Gene and Carl this morning as I read Jesus' words when He shared how He prays for all believers in
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.
Had Angela and her husband never told Carl about Jesus, would he have recognized the Name being spoken so loudly over him the day he left the earth? The last thing Carl heard was not the radio, it was the Name of Jesus being spoken loudly over him. Over and over again.
I am so challenged by the role God gave Gene that day. As my Mom so so wisely pointed out, he did what he was there to do.
May we do what we are here to do. Let's live on purpose my dear friends. Christ came and conquered our enemy so that the the lost will believe in Him because of our message.
What's the message of your life say?
Hopefully it represents
the Name of Jesus...