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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Blown Opportunity

This is Rusty... I almost never blog, but felt compelled to share what happened at our office yesterday. A 21 year old girl died within a minute of being wheeled in to our front office. Apparently Shawna (not her real name)had been sick for weeks with vomiting after a "night of hard partying" (according to her mom who brought her in), and one urgent care visit did not fix her, so they decided to make an appointment with me first thing in the afternoon. On the way to my office, she started to lose consciousness and was wheeled in to my office (she is a paraplegic from a car wreck when she was a teenager) in and out of it. Kaycee and Gabby immediately saw how bad she looked and called me (as I was literally walking through the back door) and 911. By the time I had walked to the front room she had stopped breathing and lost a pulse and we got her on the floor and began CPR. We did everything right...the paramedics did everything right...the ER doc did everything right... Shawna stilled died a horribly early death.

I have no idea medically why she died. It is possible that she had such messed up sodium and potassium levels from weeks of being sick that she went in to a funny heart rythm... or maybe had a clot in her legs from being stuck in bed sick, that it dislodged to her heart/lungs... We may never know. God is sovereign and knows the numbers of our days and there is nothing modern medicine can do to thwart that.

Ps 39:4-5

4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.
NIV


But I also can't help but wonder why she died within a minute of arriving in our office. This may be way too focused on me, but I can not help but think God is trying to get my attention on this one, Big Time! If she had passed out a couple of minutes before, she would have just gone to the ER and I probably would have not even known she had died... a few minutes later and maybe we could have seen how sick she was and prevented it from happening. But God's sovereing plan was for her to die right there and then.

There is more to the story here. You see, about a month or two ago, Shawna came and saw me for a yearly check up. She was a student taking classes to go in to law enforcement. She was always very pleasant and fun to be around. I always really enjoyed seeing her on the schedule. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, she was always really upbeat and did not feel sorry for herself etc. etc. The last time I saw her, she was reading her Bible and we were able to have a small conversation about the Lord. I had never brought up any Spiritual issues with her before, but found out that she was not going to church and got the feeling that she was isolated from other believers. I knew that she had the "partying" history as I think that is what led to the car wreck that maade her a paraplegic. I got her number and told her that I would call and take her to church with us sometimes.... BUT NEVER DID. I remember praying for her around that time and was always convicted that the Bacak clan needs to get her plugged in to our church....BUT NEVER DID.

Now I know that it was clearly Shawna's time to die... and I can not assume that if I had really plugged her in to a church that she would not have potentially partied herself to death (and I don't really even know if that had anything to do with her death medically yet). But as I was giving her mouth to mouth waiting on the paramedics, I couldn't help but think...I NEVER DID! God gave me an opportunity and calling to love on this really bright, funny young woman, above and beyond just my call of encountering her in my office. But I didn't do it! I never called... I was too busy...Did we have room for her in the van?...I had to teach Living By the Book class before church and it would have been really difficult to have picked her up across town...The excuses piled up and eventually I forgot about her. Obviously convicting - How about instead of teaching Living By The Book, I had actually lived by the Book and taken care of one of the least of these.

God rattled my cage yesterday! How many opportunities do we have around us to really love on and impact people's lives? Are we taking them... or are we too busy? Are we too focused on ourselves to even notice the dying and hurting and LOST all around us. Yes, Shawna was reading her Bible that day. But do I really know if she had a saving relationship with the Lord? Do I really know if she had surrendered her life to Him as Lord and Saviour, or was she just searching and hoping that someone would notice? Life is short! Really short. Opportunities abound for us to show Jesus to others...but will we do it? We sang a song at church this weekend, "Rescue the perishing" that is all about truly caring for the lost and dying. The question it keeps asking is "Do we really care? When will we care?" The answer is "church open your eyes once more and see what Christ died for!" Eph 5:15-16

15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity
NIV

2 Tim 4:1-2
4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.
NIV

Today, I pray that I make the most of the opportunities the Lord lays out for me.

9 comments:

Cindy Seay said...

We are all so guilty of missing the opportunity. I pray this will push me to make the most of every moment God gives me to touch someone's life for Him.
I'm praying for you and for her family!
cindy

Jennifer Bacak said...

Sweetie,
I am so glad God is challenging you. I know yesterday was so painful. But I also want you to know how proud I am of you for sharing the gospel more on any given day than anyone I know. You are so much bolder than I am! You tell people about Jesus when you know many of them are going to walk out of your office and never come back. God is continuing to mold you into a seasoned evangelist/ Doctor.
I love you!
jenn

Chrys and Mike said...

Rusty,

Hey, friend! I recently discovered your blog and added you to my Reader. I so enjoy keeping up with your precious family.

Thank you for being so honest in this post. Thanks for sharing it b/c it motivates me to call my 83-year-old friend who doesn't know Jesus. Today!

A good reminder for us all.

Chrys

Claire Bellington said...

Wow, God is so good amidst the hard stuff. We are all so guilty of this, but I am so thankful for this lesson and I pray that it will cause us all to repent and realize how short life is. I praying for you and for the people in the office, as well as the girl's family. thank you so much for sharing!
Claire

texasmcvays said...

Praying for you! While you are living James 1:12.

The McVays

EdSeay said...

Rusty,
The most lasting lessons in the Christian life are often the ones that carry the most inner pain. I thank the Lord that you are sensitive to Him and that you will be an even more faithful witness because of this painful experience. Every one of us has "blown opportunities". It is your love for the Lord and lost people that will make you stronger through this. I am proud of the man of God that you are.
Ed

Amy Seay said...

Thank you for that reminder.

Kellie Myers said...

Rusty, thanks for sharing. I am a nurse and it is sooo AWESOME to see what a man of God you are and a witness to your patients. That is not very common in "medicine". Your post is really making me aware of every opportunity taking myself out of the picture and serving others, trusting He will meet my needs! KLMyers

bekah said...

Thank you for sharing!

And know that the Lord will use this for good. He already has, this one "blow opportunity" has already reminded so many of us of how very precious and fleeting our lives are.

And let us cling to what Paul says, and not be ashamed of the Gospel-- ever. We have been saved from terrible things, What a GREAT God he is.

And I praise God for you Rusty and Jen. The Lord is using you to heal people -- and give them medicines!!

Miss you all and love you,
Bekah