I learned a new term this morning: “prevenient grace”. It’s grace given ahead of time to prepare one for what is coming. That’s my own understanding in simplest terms. It came from a miracle that I blogged about in 2012. As we prepare for the coming celebration of the birth of the Son of God upon the earth as a fully human person, let us not accept it as a familiarity, as familiarity does indeed breed contempt. And in the world today many are looking at our birthday of the Christ child, called Christmas, with contempt. Let us celebrate publicly and in privacy of our hearts the coming of a great wonder~ our God became man to initiate the part of God’s plan that brings salvation to the world! Let us rejoice!!
This story I am about to relate happened at the time of the Aurora Theater shooting which may or may not have been in your news feeds. It happened 3 years ago~ 12 people were killed and 70 wounded. It was a shock back then, but unfortunately is trending toward commonplace with the devil’s team of ISIS running amuck these days: but I digress. I will relate part of the story here today and continue it on Friday:
Victim of Aurora Theater Massacre. Story by Pstor Brad Strait
This is a bit of Petra’s miracle story:
With awesome people from our caring and pastoral team, I spent all day Friday in the ICU with Petra and her family. Her injuries were severe, and her condition was critical. A bullet had entered Petra’s face through her nose, and then traveled up through her brain until stopping at the back of her skull. The doctors prior to surgery were concerned, because so much of the brain had been traversed by the bullet. Many areas of brain function were involved. They were hoping to keep her alive long enough to get her into surgery. The prognosis was uncertain—if she lived, Petra might struggle with speech, movement, and thinking due to considerable brain damage. With Kim, Petra’s mother (who is in the final stages of terminal cancer), we simply cried, hugged, and prayed.
It is pressed into my memory now. Motion and emotion…
Other families come and go into the ICU waiting room. Some sit with us, and we talk. Others are visited by doctors with “Family Advocates” in tow. The families listen, sob, and then are moved like stunned cattle to a more private space to grieve. We pray.
Petra is finally taken into surgery, using two different surgical teams. One team of neurosurgeons will open up the back of her skull to remove the bullet and clean up brain damage as best they can. Another ENT-specialty surgical team will then work through Petra’s nose by scope to follow the bullet’s path up into her brain. Their hope is to remove bone fragments, clean up damaged brain tissue, and reseal her brain to reduce infection.
If you have lived any of your days in a hospital waiting room, you know how long the enduring process is. It has a woeful pattern to it. Sit. Walk. Grab a drink. Sit. Walk. Answer a phone call. Sit. Walk. Hug someone. Sit. . . .
After the waiting drags for over five hours, tired doctors and nurses spill back into the room, one or two at a time. I look for “Family Advocates” but can find none. I exhale. The doctors update us: “It went well, and she’s recovering now. We found very little damage to the brain, and got the bullet out cleanly. It went better than we hoped for.” Each brings a warrior’s smile, and a bit of information—information that we turn into hope as we regurgitate it over the next hours. Still, the medical team remains professional and reserved, “Something might still go wrong. We just need to wait and see if she makes it for the next 48 hours.”
To be continued Friday.