The other afternoon, my Mom, Levi and I went out for lunch. We tossed around several ideas and settled on our favorite little New York style eatery tucked away in a charming little shopping district. Upon arrival to our lunch spot of choice, I sighed and said, "oh yeah, this place doesn't have high chairs." The joint is far too small for high chairs so we sat and pondered what to do. We finally decided to dine at a uniquely feminine little place where I had my bridal luncheon five years ago.
They sat us in the same room where we celebrated that special day and as we entertained Levi with his toy trains and counting sugar packets, we reminisced about everything that day entailed. The hostess sat us beside a window and said, "this is almost as good as dining outside". Mom ordered a nice appetizer of stuffed bread with cheese, olives, artichokes and peppers melted inside. Levi was charming every one around him and I took notice of the nice little families surrounding our table.
As I tore a piece of bread in half for Levi, Mom said, "what's going on?" and as I looked around at our table neighbors, everyone was looking out the window and gasping. I looked forward, out the window in front of me, and in my direct line of vision was a middle aged lady suffering a massive seizure. She looked to be my Mom's age and was dining with her husband and her daughter that looked to be around my age. Her face was distorted and she shook violently as her arms and hands drew up close to her body. Her husband held her tightly, trying to keep her movement to a minimum and her daughter stood up, jaw dropped, eyes blank and not moving. She just stared at her Mom.
Everyone around us was screaming and several people came to their aid trying to help as best they could. As the chaos around us ensued, Mom said, "we have to pray." We bowed our heads and proceeded to pray for the lady and she slowly stopped moving as much. The seizure lasted for several minutes, but seemed like an eternity. Her face turned gray and she suddenly stopped - slumped over in her chair, eyes closed, looking lifeless. Someone took her pulse and we all breathed a sigh of relief when he said she still had a pulse. We continued to pray.
She opened her eyes and looked completely confused. The ambulance came a few short minutes later and wheeled her out on a stretcher. Her daughter, still in shock, went through the motions of gathering up their things and her husband stayed by her side and stroked her face. It was hands down, the most terrible, most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed. I can not get that lady out of my mind and I pray she is okay.
We overheard the manager later saying that the lady didn't know what the date was, her name or what state she was in when she came to. She was completely disoriented and confused. She also said this was a first time occurrence and had never suffered from seizures before. Husby said that's not good news - likely a brain tumor.
As the tragic events winded down and everything was quiet again, our food arrived and our appetites were gone. We were all so shaken up by it that we couldn't even eat. It hit me like a load of bricks that life is precious - life is fleeting. Each moment that the Lord blesses us with is a gift. One we should never take for granted. This lady expected to enjoy a late afternoon lunch with her husband and daughter on the patio of a nice little restaurant and she left on a stretcher. They probably had evening plans that were cancelled and instead sat scared in a hospital waiting room.
Life, each minute, is something to treasure with all we have. As I replayed the events of the day back in my mind and how Mom and I wasted about 30 minutes going back and forth on where to eat and settling on a place we rarely dine, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord sent us to pray. Not only during the midst of it all, but I laid awake for a long time that night praying for this soul - for her family - for salvation, peace and healing. I would imagine my Mom did the same.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I hope I can continue to be used by Him - through prayer, through my actions, through life. Be aware of those around you. Pray for them. You may be in their presence by divine appointment.