A "Thanksgiving" Story
I fell from about 20 feet down to the hard concrete side of the swimming pool. I remembered the jarring motion of my whole body, but could not recall the pain or what transpired after that. I passed out. This was October 1986. We were on a school retreat somewhere in Nagcarlan, Laguna, Philippines. Everyone was enjoying the pool and a few of us braved the “flying fox” contraption, a cable with a sliding bar that went over the pool. The idea was to hang on to the bar and let go right at the middle of the body of water. But, I got too excited and went over, and the accident happened. The next thing I remembered was being carried to a cabin and eventually to the San Pablo Hospital ER, for an operation on my leg and my chin.
All throughout the ordeal, I kept hearing this song: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” From the cabin to the hospital, the song kept ringing inside my ears.
“O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! // All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; // Praise Him in glad adoration.”
Do you know the song? This is an old hymn, not too familiar with many Free Methodist. I asked the American missionary who brought me to the ER to sing it for me. He was a little embarrassed because he did not know the song. Or maybe because I was making the request while I was on a wheelchair. There I was, with a swollen jaw, a broken elbow, and a lacerated left leg, not to mention the blood all over my clothes, asking him to sing a song of praise. It is a little bit awkward, right? But, I insisted. And eventually he obliged with some humming and mumbling some of the words to the song. I followed along, as best as my swollen mouth would allow me.
“Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, // Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth // Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been // Granted in what He ordaineth?”
Well, we did not really finish the first verse. The surgeon came and we headed out to the operating room. The following day, I was brought to the Medical City General Hospital for the operation on my left elbow. The rest is history.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2020, I thank God for giving me another life. I am grateful that He is the King of creation.