Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Specific Duty

One day almost 4 years ago my husband Gene and I had planned on meeting at the YMCA after he got off work and after I picked the kids up from school. He beat me there and since the spot next to him was empty I pulled in right next to him. I didn't expect to see what I saw though when I looked at him.

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
John 17:20
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...

~Many Blessings~


Mari said...

All I can say is AMEN!

Melanie said...

Wow... this post really spoke to me this morning, Lelia! I am so, so glad that you shared it today... a day I'm struggling with knowing all of the reasons I do what I do. Maybe, it's not always for us to know how what we do is used... maybe we just need to do it and trust that as long as we are doing what the Lord wants, then we are fulfilling a purpose. Even if we never know what that purpose may be.

Thanks and have a great day!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Beatutiful, Lelia. You had me with every word...just glued to it.

Encouraging but I doing all I can for Jesus? Am I speaking the name of Jesus over people? For that is the big picture and main point of this life!
Blessings, sweet one.

Jill said...

Wow, what great words and a wonderful reminder of our purpose. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

Kelly said...

Wow, Leila, this just blows me away..I had tears in my eyes reading this today. So true that we stop and remember that we all have a part and a purpose God has orchestrated for us.
Thank you for sharing this today, it has had a big impact on me!

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing this, Lelia. Very powerful.

We'll be praying for Gene's back, believing God for healing, peace and provision in every way.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

That was so touching. You are right about the application. The part that is sticking with me is that Gene did exactly what God wanted him to do in that moment. It was Carl's time to leave, but Gene was ministering to him. Beautiful. Off the subject: Did you get the email pic I sent to you of my friend who you look like? I don't think the last couple of emails I sent you have gone through. Just wondering.

Paula said...

A truly wonderful post Lelia! Thank you for sharing!

We, as Christians, are holders of the world's best kept secret, and that is Jesus! It is our specific duty is to share Him with everyone, saved and unsaved. I say saved, because you have touch my heart today and rekindled a burning that I have been praying for.

Thank you again, and thank Gene for being with Carl in his last moments. Love in Him, Paula :-)

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Gene's was being God's angel in this situation. I am sorry he had to be a part of it but what a blessing he was. I have prayed for him in this.

In His Graces~Pamela

AnooCre8ion said...

This is such a powerful and encouraging post.

It reminds me to just do what God asks me to do and leave everything else up to Him. Just yesterday I shared Jesus with my mom who has been in hospital for 5 weeks following heart surgery. She was talking about the possibility of it happening again in the future and I kept reassuring her, but then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart to just encourage her to commit her heart to Lord. I did, more than once and she responded that she would do that. I did what I believed God was saying to me.

While talking to my husband this morning he said when he was praying yesterday he felt the Holy Spirit telling him to tell me to encourage my mom to accept Jesus. We felt good knowing that God was moving.

Sorry to be so long, but I thought I would share that. I know we would love to do all the work that is needed to get our loved ones and friends to the cross, but we are to share, do what we are supposed to do, what we can do and God will do what we can't do.

Thanks again for sharing.


Rachel Olsen said...

Terrific post! Powerful story! Important truth!

Thanks for sharing this, Lelia (she says while drying her eyes).

Susan said...

Hey Lelia,

I've missed you!!

Wow, what a story, I love the point you drove home, soooooooo true.

My hubby had the same thing happen to him! He prayed over a young guy as he died too. Car accident, right in front of him.

Because I lost my brother and always wondered what it was like at his end, I thought it was urgent we contact the family and attend the funeral.

His mom was a Christian, and when we told her the story, she sobbed and sobbed. Just knowing someone was there praying with her young son as he passed on brought so much comfort!

Sorry for rambling on. Isn't it amazing how God will use us if we obey Him?

You have a great hubby!


HisPrincess said...

Thats an important truth that I often miss Lelia.

Thankyou for reminding me. I'm such a "doer" but I need to stop and ask myself if this is what I'm supposed to be doing.

Naomi said...

This is powerful stuff, Lelia! I shamefully get 'lost' regarding believing as though I am living with purpose... funny how you can do that as a Mother of children... But, yet, I look back on the things that have happened in my life, and the things I have said to people, I reflect on the fact that it only all came about the way it did because of God - I did, or said, what I was MEANT to... it was ordained by God, for He purposed it to be THAT way. Oh, don't we just get warm fuzzies when we know that He is using us for His purpose ???!

Christy said...

What an incredible story. Yes, your husband was there to do what he was supposed to do. What a witness he was not only to Carl, but even to those that were there that day, hearing him call upon the Name of Jesus.

You have encouraged me and challenged me through your words, and again I am reminded to live a life of purpose. Jesus is our purpose, let's not be afraid to share it.

HIS Daughter said...

That story blessed me so much! Thank you for sharing your encouragement and words of wisdom from GOD with your "Sisters and Siestas".
Gene was exactly where GOD wanted HIM to be. HE did exactly what GOD wanted HIM to do and whatever GOD wanted accomplished through this is exactly what was accomplished.
I have a feeling I may know how Gene felt at first. Helpless and so many questions. BUT, in my own life and in Gene's, GOD has shown HIMSELF to be completely in control of our lives when we are filled with HIS presence.
As I pray for the HOLY SPIRIT to draw my daughter and son to JESUS, I know that it will be someone in their world that they see or talk to that will have a major impact on them.
I try to think of my life that way. I may be who some Mom is praying for to show "Christ" to their son or daughter.
Sorry so long.
Blessings on you, Gene and your family!
Love and prayers,

Kristen said...

Leila... I have tears running down my face. Your husband had the most important job... witnessing our Jesus -

The Lord knew that Carl's last day on this earth would be that day and He put your dear husband there to do His will! Your man is an incredible witness of the love of Christ. Holding a dying man in his arms - comforting him with Jesus' sweet name!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

God shapes us in these exact moments! Gene was allowed this portion of his journey for a specific reason. He may not fully see its end now, but he will one day. I'm so thankful that he was present at such a desperate moment of painful history in this man's life.


Rachelle said...

Wow!! That was very powerful. Great thoughts and insight. Carl was blessed to have had your husband there with him. It was in God's plan for Carl.

Julie said...

Wow, Lelia, This is an unbelievable story.....

Thank you for sharing...


Laura said...

How beautiful and true your friend's words were about Gene's purpose on that fateful day. This story brought tears to my eyes, and I grieved for your sweet husband as I read. How blessed he is to have you, my friend.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

So touching! What a powerful post.

Luanne said...


Kelley said...

I couldn't even breathe as I read through this post. What a powerful and yet painful message. Our hearts need to bleed for the lost and yet we just go about our business not realizing how close the end might be. Thanks friend for sharing your memory.