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I Remember Now.

10 August 2009

This is not the post you’re likely expecting.  Well I mean, it’s the post I promised.  It’s just probably not the news you were suspecting.  Unless, of course, I’ve already told you about this, though that doesn’t apply to many.

I was at the beach two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of friends.  The surf had been huge for the past couple of days because of a storm in Tahiti about a week prior.  Whatever, this is not especially relevant to anything.  I swam in the waves for a while with friends, but mostly I lazed around on a towel on the hot sand.  Later in the day, I tried swimming again when Megan, Roderick, and Nate were going in.  Too much surf.  It wasn’t fun; it was work.  I went straight back to my towel after swimming through just a few waves.

Then Michael talked to Ben while looking at the horizon.  And then spoke to the lifeguard whose tower we were right next to.  And I observed.  And while Megan and I were standing talking about the huge waves, the lifeguard put down his binoculars and picked up his rescue gear.  He sprinted down the beach.  And Michael followed down the beach.  I grew especially concerned.  The ocean is dangerous, and my friends were two of those teeny, tiny heads I could see in the water way, way, way down the beach.  But which two?

Megan and I walked down the beach.  A long ways.  And we eventually realized we were indeed approaching a rescue.   We spotted Ben in the small crowd gathered around someone lying on the beach, and our pace quickened immediately.  Roderick.

We approached the chaotic scene and saw Roderick lying unconscious on the beach, surrounded by lifeguards and a few friends.  Nate stood at his feet cooperating with the lifeguards, trying desperately to help in any possible way and dripping wet.  Tip him to the side while he tries to cough up some of the Pacific.  Pray.  And then he came to suddenly.  Coughing and confusion and a sernse of relief.  Megan and I prayed together while the paramedics checked him out.  And then we rejoined the small crowd around Roderick.

The lifeguards frustratingly asked everyone not related to the patient to take a few big steps back.  No one moved.  We’re his family.  We’re all with him.  We stood there, a mismatched crew of soldiers, shoulder-to-shoulder and unwavering in our commitment to Roderick.  Brothers and sisters in the blood of Christ.

The paramedics finished treating Roderick on the beach and decided to take him to the hospital for more treatment.  We gathered our belongings and followed.  Nate.  Hanssel.  Michael.  Jesse.  Amy.  Dan.  Megan.  Ben.  Kirsten.  Roderick’s family.  We all stood outside the hospital waiting for someone to let us see Roderick.  One at a time in the ER.  Nate went first, and he came out with a look I wasn’t expecting.  And then slowly, each person had their turn.  Some repeated.  I waited and waited and prayed and waited and got news from my friends and from a doctor and tried to piece together what was going on.  He was alive but with some water in his lungs and some memory loss.  And then more memory loss.

Eventually it got really late, and I left to find some food with Nate and Lauren.  And Nate and I went back to the hospital, making our way through the maze of hallways to the room where Roderick had been moved to.  He remembered who I was, and he was quite excited about it.  We spent some time together in that hospital room talking.   Roderick couldn’t remember a lot of his life.  But we were there, bonded through the whole experience, intentionally brought through a crazy experience together for a purpose higher than ourselves.

It’s incredible to watch how things have played out since this evening.  The Lord set us all up, and now He’s just working through and with each of us, changing lives and relationships and everything.  The bonds are stronger.  Lives are taken more seriously.  We’re consciously caring for each other.  And the effects are being felt beyond the small church group of us.

There are more details to what happened that day on the beach, but I don’t tell the story as well as Nate.  He was there, and he rescued Roderick (and himself) in a crazy fashion, along with a couple other swimmers.  They just got caught in the extremely strong riptide there.  Roderick was in the hospital for two days before moving in with Grandma Renie (Jamie and Jessica’s grandma and Bridget’s mom).  He’s getting his memories back slowly but surely, kind of like in a cheezy movie.

So I think that’s basically the story.  Things are just different now.  God does amazing things, answers prayers, and scares us.  It’s incredible and I’m beyond thankful for all that He’s doing in me and in my (church) family.  I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.

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