I read an article recently about a young child who drowned and it reminded me of this experience I had many years ago in the being of my experience. I’ve never thought of my sister as being ‘dead’ or having ‘drowned’ and as a little child I had a very limited understanding of what this word meant. I think that is a blessing in itself.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;” John 14:12
What a grand proclamation for all of mankind. Truly anyone who believeth (have faith, understanding) in Christ Jesus can heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead. That’s a pretty awesome thought.
I went to Sunday School when I was a young child and learnt how Jesus loved everybody and learnt about how he healed so many people. At sunday school we would explore and discuss bible stories to help us understand them and their spiritual meanings better. They were always wonderful, I use to skip out of Sunday School class so full of joy. The bible is so rich of healings and demonstrations of faith. The good Samaritan, Jeremiah, Daniel in the lion’s den, the prodigal son, feeding the multitudes, healing the lame, restoring sight to the blind, just so many.
I recall one lesson in particular where I became conscious of Love, Spirit being present. I was only about 5 or 6 years old. There were about 6 children in my class. I always wonder if they felt God’s love the way I did, I hope so. When I was in Grade 3, around 8 turning 9 our family moved to a farm. I loved it, lots of animals, space, nature, horses and countryside, an old school shed and the smell of freshly baked bread. Correspondence school where we eagerly waited for our packages in the post of returned study to see what our teachers thought of our work.
My little sister was about 1 and a half. I would look after her and we would play together for hours. One day I took her swimming with me in the dam, just on the edge where the yabbies build their homes. Well I was merrily playing in my own little daydream world for sometime when I realized my sister had been quiet for a while.
I was facing the edge of the dam, I looked up and turned around to see the dam. My little sister was floating face down very close to the middle of the dam. It was a good size dam too! I knew I had to go and get her and I had never swam that far out before as there was a drop about a third of the way in where I could not stand up. I have no idea how I got her or pulled her out. I recall getting to where the dam floor drops and facing fear, a moment of truth for a split second and putting that fear aside and dog paddling out to her. I recall sitting her up on a large log about 5 meters from the edge of the dam. I recall her being limp, white and non responsive. Like a heavy rag doll, I sat her on the log.
I turned to God. I recall asking God to wake her up because I would get in trouble if I took her home like that – cause I was supposed to be looking after her. I had a very limited knowledge of death. Danger, trouble in a child sense – look out for cars, obey your parents, etc.
I knew with 100% certainty that God protected me from danger and trouble even if I did make a mistake he would help me out so I could correct it. I knew all was not well with my sister and I knew she had to wake up. I had learnt in Sunday School errors – mistakes once corrected no longer existed which was reinforced by correspondence school with the teachers red crosses meaning I had made a mistake that needed correcting and sent back to her to make sure I got it right. I asked God for help. I wasn’t praying in a panic or anything like that. I was worried because I hadn’t done what I was told to do and that was to look after my sister. I knew I would certainly do a better job looking after my sister in the future. This was a dreadful mistake. I simply asked God for help and to wake my sister up. I didn’t know what else to do, I didn’t think of anything else to do. I naturally turned to God and put my trust in him. I didn’t have any of my own understanding to lean upon and I didn’t have anyone else to help me… it was the only choice I had. God I really need you to help me here. I never thought to doubt him and I had no concept of the consequences if he didn’t – that God wouldn’t help didn’t enter my mind. Lucky for me I guess, that is if you believe in luck…
My little sister coughed out some water twice then was awake again. She was as white as a ghost and asked me what happened. I said something like I didn’t know and that we should go home now. She was still pale when we got home and mum asked if she was alright, if anything had happened. I told mum, nothing happened and she was fine. I never did tell my mum and many years have gone by when I have not pondered the experience, but I have never forgotten. Sometimes we bury the most treasures memories in our mind so they can be revealed when we need them most. It wasn’t until when I was living in the country with my own children that I really appreciated the significance of this experience. It continues to provide profound insight into what is meant when we say “In God I trust”.
Had I been older I may have laid blame on my mum for expecting me to look after her, had I been older I may have doubted God’s care. It taught me responsibility for my fellow-man, if I say I will look out for you, I will look out for you. Its shown me that by putting the care of someone else in front of your own, you help yourself. Its helped me to understand what it means to some extent to become ‘as a little child.’ To have the childlike trust in Gods omnipotent, omnipresent care and to have the mind of Christ. “To live, move and have our being in God.”
“Life that knows no death – life that maketh all things new” – what a wonderful hymn. Now I don’t know how long she had been in the water, nor do I need to know. It’s just a story, a material story of something that happened. A dream as real as this mortal body made of flesh. What is important is the reinforcement of God’s all-ness and omni-action, his oneness and his almighty power, forever guiding and governing us above all seeming laws of matter – materialism.
“The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.” S&H 494:15
“Miracle: That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly” S&H591:21
“A miracle fulfils God’s law, but does not violate that law. This fact at present seems more mysterious than the miracle itself. The psalmist sang: “What ailed thee. O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams, and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.” The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God’s unchangeable law.” S&H134:31-8