Tonight I was blessed enough to take my bride to an anniversary dinner in celebration of our elopement many, many years ago. I was going to meet her at our inexpensive restaurant of choice after work but we had some errands to do afterwards and we didn’t want two vehicles so I decided to come home and chauffeur her. I departed work a bit early and headed home for our date night. This would turn out to be fortuitous.
On our way down our long, two lane country road we started to hit some of the returning home traffic. I slowed down for a white truck that merged in front of me which also turned out to be fortuitous. Seconds later there was an oncoming Ford truck headed straight for the white truck in front of me in our lane. The white truck slowed way down and immediately dove for the small shoulder while also avoiding the ditch. I figured out what was going on and followed suit honking my horn while my wife gasped and grabbed the “oh $%!t” handle. The Ford truck veered back across the lane narrowly missing the white truck and us. I watched him as he passed us and the old man had a phone in his hand. I thought it odd that he was so focused on texting this far into our lane. I found it odder when he sideswiped a sign pole shattering his passenger mirror and ripping it from the truck. His truck came to rest hitting another sign post.
The white truck temporarily stopped, assessed the non-damage he had, and then proceeded on. I was in the same frame of mind thinking the Ford truck was just a very rude and distracted texting driver. However, the truck just stayed against the road sign on the side of the road which prompted me to dodge oncoming traffic and turn around to make sure the man was ok.
My wife remaining in our truck as I pulled up behind and turned on the hazards. I approached cautiously and was happy the driver’s window was halfway down. The old man did indeed have his phone in his hand and he was just gazing at it. I asked if he was ok and he replied with “What’s going on?”. It was at that point I realized that I had a situation on my hands. I quickly assessed the environment. Other than being on the side of the country road, there was no hazardous damage; no bleeding of the man; and no smoke, fire or liquids. And while there were some cars passing by, no one seemed to be interested in what was going on. I pulled out my phone and immediately dialed 911.
I let the helpful operator know I had a non-injury vehicle event with a medical situation. I found out the man’s name was Bob. He was very disoriented and incoherent but did know his name and age. I relayed that to the operator along with my physical location – which I was very surprised that she pretty much already knew based on my cellphone signal. (She had it down to a 100 yards.) She was dispatching EMS and I told her that I would stay with him until they arrived. She then gave me additional medical information in case his condition worsened.
Thank God that the fire station down the street responded in about 2 minutes. I had moved over to the passenger side window and secured the keys to his vehicle while keeping him calm and talking to him. I asked if he knew Jesus and, interestingly, he responded alertly with a resounding “Yes”. I comforted him and let him know that I and others would pray for him.
The fire truck pulled up right beside his truck blocking the eastbound lane. I updated the concerned firemen on the situation who immediately went to putting their skills to use. I handed the keys to one of them who also thanked me for stopping to render aid to the man. He confirmed that he was in a diabetic shock which mimics alcohol impaired behavior. I was happy that the old man was in good hands and took the fireman up on his offer to block traffic so I could get out onto the road and continue my evening with my bride.
I write this for several reasons. One is to seek prayers for Bob who I hope is recovering from his diabetic shock in the hospital. Another reason is to be an encouragement for others to get involved in situations that might not be what they seem. We should all be on the lookout for opportunities to help others who could use our help. So often the easy thing to do is just continue on with our lives or to let momentum keep us moving forward. Sometimes we must veer, turn around, or step outside our paths to offer aid to someone. The easy thing is to do nothing. I challenge those reading this to do the hard thing and get outside of yourself and get involved.
An additional reason for writing this is to highlight God in action. Now many of you might dismiss the facts that I am going to highlight as mere happenstance. However, my faith tells me otherwise. (Remember a popular faith quote – “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous”.)
Originally, I was going to meet my wife at the restaurant and neither one of us would have been near that area. Even once we were on the same path, the white truck merged in front of us seconds before that event which most likely saved an impact at that site. And while the white truck and others who passed by witnessing the event continued on, the Ford truck resting against the road sign caused me enough pause to think that something was not right and to turn around to check. Had I not done that, the way the Ford truck was on the side of the road made it look like he was just sitting there waiting for someone and others might not have even stopped for quite a while on that quiet country road. That is a very dangerous situation when someone is in a diabetic shock.
So get out there and get involved. Be alert in your day to day life. Everything might not be as it seems. All it takes is for you to get out of yourself and love your neighbor. You just might make someone’s day. You just might save someone’s life.
Happy Anniversary Mrs. A Slowerpace!!!!! Thanks for being with me during our adventure.
…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net