Yesterday things started to thaw, but not enough for an elderly gentleman I saw lying semi-conscious on an icy footpath in the village. He’d obviously slipped on the inch thick compacted ice/snow and banged his head badly as he went down. I spent time assisting (called 999, helped paramedic) and talking to the strangers who also came to help.
It’s funny how we can analyse our reactions to situations like this afterwards. I did some of what needed doing, but felt embarrassed afterwards that I’d not done more: I called 999, and since others had come to help by then, walked away to wait and wave in the paramedic nearer the road (as instructed by ambulance control). I didn’t think to put my coat over him, or something under his head, but others had done that when I came back. Later I did give my coat to a lass who’d given hers up, as she had only a t-shirt on and was shivering, whilst I had two warm jumpers under my coat. I never thought of the cleanish dog blanket in the car 50 yards away. I could have done more, and afterwards felt embarrassed that others might have thought I should have done. Yet, no one had started to help till I did (despite there being others around) so why be embarrassed for something no-one condemned me for?
And what is embarrassment when no-one is there inside your head hearing your thought? Except God.
Which brings me to the other afterthought I had as I drove home. During the whole incident, which lasted just over an hour, it never once occurred to me to pray (not even ‘inside my head’). So much for delusions of being a “minister” it seems – aren’t they the ones who think of things like praying for people in distress?! Never once did I think “God, please take control.” It was just me ‘doing’ or standing there holding blankets, holding the chair we sat him on, keeping a hand on the mans shoulder so he wasn’t alone with the paramedic.
It was only afterwards that the “prayer” button kicked in, and the little grey cells registered that I should try and visit the couple (his wife was brought from his house in time to go in the Ambulance with him) next week.
So, did I fail God and my ‘calling’ in that situation, or just perhaps, (I’ve suddenly thought this) was God working through me to help someone in distress, and a lot more “in control” than I gave him credit for last night?
Where was God in this? (That will be me thinking theologically then!)