Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, but lately I’ve been really appreciating my dad more and more. When I look back on my childhood, I can honestly say it was pretty darn good. Back then, most dads were the primary bread winners and moms either stayed home and took care of the kids, or had part time jobs. A dad’s role was to bring home the paycheck and take care of things around the house. By the standards of the day, my dad was awesome! He worked really hard to provide for a wife and 5 kids and I never, ever remember going without things that we needed. The cars were always taken care of, the lawn always got mowed, and never once did Dad come home late after work because he was drinking at the bar with his buddies! Every Sunday (twice on Sunday) and every Wednesday without fail we were in church. Although there were many times I complained about not being able to do the things other kids did on Sundays, it was good for us kids, and taught us to value God, family, and taking a day of rest. Dad went above and beyond what a lot of fathers did for their kids. He attended our sporting events, took the boys hunting, saved like a mad man so we could all have a college education, and took us on a family vacation each year. After 50 plus years, we still go to Minnesota every summer to spend a week together fishing and having fun as an extended family with our own kids...and their kids! So many traditional family values have gone by the wayside in today’s world. Some dads don’t take any responsibility for their kids, while other dads are single parents through no fault of their own. Dads are pulled in all directions to be more and give for while being marginalized by society as a whole. As a result, many have forgotten what it’s like to be men, to be leaders in their families without being tyrants in doing so. Was my family perfect? Heavens no! I probably complained more about my dad and his ways of doing things than any of my siblings; but at some point, I grew up and realized that my dad was my dad. He had his ways of doing things and that was not going to change. He had his way of loving, even if it wasn’t what I could understand at the time. He had his way of disciplining and as much as I hated having the fear of God (and my dad) put in me, it was probably what kept me out of a lot more trouble than what I got into. The Bible says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child, but when I became a man (or grew up) I put away childish things. (I Corinthians 13:11) It took me a lot of years to realize I was a pretty lucky kid, and I had a pretty great dad. We often express our emotions toward our moms, because~well, they’re moms, and we can do that. Dads usually only get appreciated this one day a year. I know my dad won’t always be here with us, so there’s no time like the present to say the obvious. Here’s to you, Dad. You’re an exceptional man and I’m thankful that I’m your daughter!


Life is Fragile~Handle With Prayer

I was pretty shook up yesterday when I came up on an bike v. electric scooter accident while walking home from school. The woman was lying on the ground, unconscious, and bleeding with dozens of people standing around her watching and only one guy holding her head against her backpack. The first miracle was that she was wearing a helmet, which was trashed and at the side of the road next to her. I ran as fast as I could toward them and told someone in Chinese to call the police and the hospital. Fortunately, in this day and age everyone has a cell phone. I tried talking to her as she came in and out of consciousness, but every time I got eye contact her eyes would suddenly roll back into her head and she would be gone again. I didn't even know if she could speak English, but I knew that no one else standing around could. I went into crisis mode. The police and ambulance arrived quickly and several passersby helped paramedics put the 28 year old foreigner into the ambulance. I hopped in the ambulance and frantically dug through her backpack hoping to find some ID so I could at least know her name, where she was from and maybe even who to contact. I was so relieved to find her UK passport with her name on it. She obviously had a serious head injury and since we were near the SOS clinic for foreigners, the ambulance took her there first. Another miracle~she had once been a patient there and they had all her emergency info on file! The doctor jumped into the ambulance and I got out. They took her to the Number 1 Hospital immediately, and that's all I knew. All I could do was pray and hope that she would be OK.
This morning the principle of the school where Ashley was teaching called me, thanked me for helping and said she was she was stable but had a broken cheek bone, and a head injury with some bleeding in her brain but they thought it would eventually absorb. She was still in and out of consciousness and didn't remember anything. They were planning to move her to Beijing, but needed to get a statement from me for the police report. As I walked into the 16th floor ICU I was met by her boyfriend, 2 other friends, a translator, and a police officer, all who looked concerned and wanted to know what happened, so I filled in the blanks. As is typical in Chinese hospitals, Ashley was in a big room with 6 other critical care guys and had all their family member in there, too. The guy next to her had just died an hour earlier. In spite of her condition, I was thankful to see Ashley looking more coherent than the day before. At least she was able to open her eyes and talk a little. After giving the police officer my statement, I went back into the room and asked her boyfriend if I could pray for her, and I did.
As far as I'm concerned, Ashley is lucky to be alive. The helmet saved her life, the SOS clinic records made treatment and notification of her significant others possible, and the guy that accidentally hit her didn't just run off like most would have after injuring a foreigner... All miracles! I am sure this will be quite a recovery process for this young woman, but I keep praying that she will recover and that she will see the hand of God in this incident, protecting her from what could've been sooo much worse. I normally don't wear a helmet when I ride, and hardly ever think about walking everywhere in crazy traffic. This has been a wake up call for me, too! We never know what today will bring. We focus on our daily happenings, our petty troubles, or our dreams for the future when the truth is, we aren't guaranteed a tomorrow. We only have today, and that's all; so let's make sure we live it well, and have our eternity settled. It's the only thing we can guarantee ahead of time.