She could have been mine.
She was the same height, build, and even age.
I stood like everyone else trying to catch a glimpse of her.
There was murmuring and whispering about her.
It was supposed to be a happy day. A day for fun, excitement, and more laughter than you usually pack in a normal day.
But something happened. And that all changed. For her and for me.
When I think about that day I can feel the heat of it all over again. The sun beating down. The sweat trickling down my back.
My throat felt like it was in constant need of water. And any I gave it was quickly soaked up.
It was crowded. I remember the press of people and the feeling like the walls weren't just closing in a little but the actual ceiling was coming closer as well.
I turned to my mom and asked her why we had just stopped. There was speculation as to the reason, but I am a person who doesn't hold with speculation.
I want the truth.
She gestured with her head a little in front of us in line.
I froze. There she was, on the ground. Shaking. Crying.
We began to move then. I'm not sure why, but suddenly my view of her was not obscured anymore.
I could see her clearly. I could also see her mom. She was frantic, shaking herself and trying her best to sooth away any fear.
I didn't think. I just moved.
I've tried since to analyze what I did next. It wasn't anything heroic or even very noteworthy, but what compelled me was the fact that she could have been mine.
She had fainted. The heat and little water had done their job. No one expected and certainly not someone of her age to come where only fun is supposed to reign and have a tragedy happen.
I guess fainting wouldn't be so bad if your head hadn't hit a marble corner of a wall you were standing in front of.
Her body after it fell was positioned in an awkward way that her head was flush up against the offending corner.
What probably looked so innocent moments before had instantly become an enemy.
My family tried to pass discreetly. Trying to give them space.
I couldn't. The thought that no one was doing anything but staring kept running through my head.
I had nothing to offer. Even offering help seemed a bit empty. But I had to do something.
Before I could analyze my next step I kneeled down next to her. I looked at her mom before touching her.
I asked permission first. Her mom's look was surprised but quickly changed to one of relief. She barely nodded yes. That was all I needed.
I laid my hand on her head and one on her arm.
And then I prayed.
I prayed loud. Not like a shout or even loud enough to be heard by the people behind me, but loud so that she could hear over the noise of the crowd and loud enough that I could infuse my heart into it.
It was a simple prayer. For healing... safety... peace. And for God's presence. Most of all His presence.
I couldn't speak for a second when I was done. I even kept my eyes closed tight for a moment longer.
Then I opened them. I had unknowingly brought my face close to hers as I was praying so when I opened my eyes we were face to face. Her eyes were still closed when mine opened. And then she opened hers too.
I almost fell back from where I had crouched.
Her eyes were the same color as my daughters.
Brilliant hazel. A color hard to describe but beautiful in their own right. Hers were bright with tears.
I just stared. She whispered thank you. It was echoed by her mom. It barely registered.
I suddenly realized where I was again. I felt awkward and a little unsure of myself.
I laid my hand on her mom and I got back up.
And then I walked away. There was nothing else I could do.
I prayed for her the rest of the wait in line and all the rest of that day.
We saw the paramedic take her away on a stretcher, her mom and brother following close by.
My heart broke for them. So often in life we run up into unfair situations. One's we don't ask for and ones we don't want.
But they happen. To all of us.
I'm not sure what me stopping did for them, but I know what it did for me.
It changed me. It made me think. It made me want to do more for others and not for myself. To not be so concerned about what others might think or say.
She could have been mine.
My daughter. Hurt and in a dangerous situation.
And I hope someone would stop and pray with us. Knowing that in a frantic state of mind that you don't always think to invited God in. To call out and seek His help.
And so I did. Because that's what I would want someone to do for me. For my daughter.
I wanted to share this days ago. But the timing didn't feel right.
So I hope today will make a difference.
Maybe you will run into someone today who needs Jesus at that crises moment.
When any other time you might just sympathetically walk by, I pray that today you won't.
I pray that you will stop and offer. They may not take you up on it. But the point is is that you tried.
And maybe next time they will let you.
I don't know the difference I made for that young girl, in fact I don't even think she will remember my face. But I truly believe that she will remember that "someone" took the time and prayed for her. And maybe that will change her too.
You never know. I didn't. But now I do.
And I will never be the same from it.
God bless you today. I hope you keep your eyes open to see beyond the realm of normal and allow God to lead you into the realm of possibility.
"One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
"This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it,'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' O these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22-35-40
.....until another tomorrow.