I was working the matinee at the Renton Cinemas the day the call came. The show was in, all the tickets torn. All that remained was guarding the entrance, standing by the doorman’s ticket box.
The phone call came in to my Dad in his office. He left immediately stopping by my station to fill me in. My Dad had been called to go directly to the hospital. My brother had been in a car accident and was now in emergency. He had been out riding with friends in their ’65 Chevy Impala SS, and not wearing a seatbelt. They were traveling down I-405 and went off the road. But not just off the road. At this section of that freeway there was a forty foot drop to a narrow lane that ran between a building and a wall that buttressed the freeway roadbed.
My Dad then left. And I was standing there with my thoughts. History between brothers. Older to younger. When we were quite small, I was horribly jealous of my little brother in an unreasoning way (sibling rivalry can do that to you). I used to rage on him with all the spite of my five year old body, striking him repeatedly on the back of his neck. It all came to an end after my Mom took him to the doctor and brought back the report that I was doing severe damage to the nerves in his neck. Fear brought an end to my actions. (It’s been quite a few years now, but I did talk to him about this in the nineties and asked for his forgiveness, and he did).
All I could do was pray. So right in that moment, I laid my hands on either side of the ticket box, bowed my head and prayed. I asked God for the life of my brother. I did not know what his state was then, even whether he was alive or not. The situation certainly seemed dire to me. Minutes passed in this fervency. When I had poured it all out, and there seemed nothing else to add, I stopped.
The prayer was answered.
I rejoiced when I heard that he was alive and would live. But he would be in the hospital for a while. His left leg had broken, a spiral break of the femur bone. So consequently, he was to be in a full body cast for the next three months.
He missed going on the family vacation that summer – to California (and specifically to Disneyland – the first time for all of us). But he was alive, and would live.
I didn’t pray after that time that I can remember. I do remember being grateful. But that was fleeting.
I do not think it strange in the light of this, that for the last thirty years I have had as a main ministry since becoming a believer – intercessory prayer – spending time with the Lord on behalf of other people and their needs.
All praise to the Lord who hears our cry.