It Can Happen in an Instant- Part 2
My mind was in a fog. Everything became distant & seemed like 100 miles in front of me as the sound I was hearing retreated far away into a distant echo. Everything around me was moving in slow motion. A crowd of people now surrounded me on the basketball court as everyone stared at my deformed leg.
I’ve never experienced a bad break in my bones before this day. This was not something that was a part of my plans. This incident interrupted everything I had hoped this summer would be. As I shared last week, my plans were unfortunately not very healthy plans as a teenager. These plans consisted of doing everything a parent would never want their kids to do because of the obvious & inherently dangerous natural consequences of such activities. Nevertheless, I wasn’t too thrilled about the prospects of what this meant for the rest of my summer.
Just as it seemed this moment would never end, I saw a vague figure of a man emerge from the woods on a nearby hilltop at the edge of the woods surrounding the basketball court. I don’t know how I recognized this one person in the sea of people surrounding me, but I locked onto him as he approached where I was. He was carrying a black medical bag with him & knelt right in front of me. Obviously, I assumed this man was a doctor.
Everyone became quiet. It was then I could hear a siren approaching in the distance. Suddenly, this man grabbed my leg & I closed my eyes as I laid back on the ground. I immediately sat up just as quickly as I lay down! I felt NO pain. As I looked down he was pulling my leg straight away from my body as his two thumbs were sliding down the outside of my tibia bone. The next thought crossed my mind, “Wait a minute! My leg is straight!”
My leg was no longer broken. Let me repeat that. My leg was NO LONGER BROKEN! Just as quickly as this man appeared before me, in just a few moments he disappeared back into the woods with medical bag in hand. My leg had just been miraculously put back together & healed…
What happened? I don’t know. All I know is that my leg was severely broken in two & now it wasn’t. The paramedics who now had just arrived, weren’t quite as amused as everyone else who just witnessed this amazing event. The counselor who called them reluctantly had to tell them their services were no longer needed. I never discovered who the counselor was that called for the ambulance until about 16 years later.
I was now a youth pastor attending a leadership event. At the end of our meeting I heard someone talking about a youth camp called “Mahaffey” where they served on staff years ago. He was sharing about a miraculous event he witnessed where a boy injured himself & got a compound fracture while playing basketball. He was the one who immediately called 911 for help. I was so stunned by what I was hearing that I blurted out, “That was me! That was me!”
This man is Pastor James Llewellyn, currently senior pastor of Greensburg Alliance Church in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Below is his account of what happened that day:
“Early in my ministry I was assigned to run the sports at Mahaffey camp. At that time every licensed worker had to volunteer for at least one week of camp. Family camp was my week to serve. At that time the basketball tournament was a big deal and was very competitive. One afternoon a team of young adults were playing in a very competitive game. I was working on the bracket when I heard the screams for help. I ran on to the court and saw Dave laying there in excruciating pain. I looked and he had a broken leg, and it was bad. He had a compound fracture and you could see the bone pushing against the skin. I immediately sent for the camp director, nurse, and had someone call 911 because we knew he needed to get medical attention. I was trying to get people back away from him while some others were trying to comfort him and keep him calm. In the middle of all this a man came walking down. I clearly remember he had a bag and was wearing a dress shirt and a tie. He knelt down beside him and said let’s all pray. As we prayed, everyone closed their eyes and held hands. When he finished praying we opened our eyes and Dave’s leg was back together and he was completely healed. I mean he was able to get up and start playing again healed. The strangest part of the story is no-one had ever seen the guy before or since. When the man finished praying he simply walked away and into the woods. It is still one of the craziest experiences I have had in ministry. Shortly after the camp nurse and director showed up and wanted to see what was going on. Just then the ambulance pulled in and I had to explain to all of them that he was healed. They were a little upset. I called the ambulance but I said what can I say his leg was busted in half. I remember they asked ‘which one?’ I pointed to Dave playing basketball and I said ‘that kid’. What an amazing experience of God’s healing power.”
Why me? I don’t always have a great answer for this. For sure I know God was trying to get my attention because I was headed down a dark path. This event certainly got my attention. There is one other lesson I know I’ve learned from that day. Looking back 24 years ago it still feels just as vivid now as it did then, God can do anything in an instant. It doesn’t always happen this way. In fact, most of the time our answers we pray for don’t always come instantly. Rest assured that God hears & His answers do come. Don’t stop praying. Believe on Him & you will see His hand at work in your life too!
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT