30 Years – November to Remember (continued)

Fast forward to the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I had dropped back into my funky fog as I was headed south on Interstate 81 to Tech. I was indulging in my pity party when I saw the blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror.

I pulled over.

The state trooper asked, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No sir.” I answered

“You were going 14 miles an hour over the speed limit. I tracked you for over three miles at that speed. Were you in a hurry?”

“No. Just going through a tough spot.  I guess I wasn’t paying attention.”

I put the ticket in the glove box and headed more cautiously down the road, fighting back anger at myself for letting my problems get to me so badly. For the first time since I was a young boy, I prayed.

“OK, God. I’m a mess. I don’t know if you’re a personal God or just some cosmic force.  If you’re real, now would be a great time to prove it.”

I finished my meeting in Blacksburg and headed to the nearby town of Dublin to spend the night with my grandmother. My uncle was there, too.  He had come down for a hunting trip.

That night we had a delicious dinner of wild turkey.  As we ate, I noticed my uncle drinking a lot of water.  He was diabetic and I knew what was going on.

When we were out of earshot of my grandmother, I said, “Your blood sugar’s all out of whack. Do I need to take you to the hospital?”

Nah, I’ll be alright.  I cut back on my insulin when I hunt. This morning I took the lower dose, but didn’t go out because it started raining. I’m back on it, now. This will pass in a couple of hours.”

It didn’t.

At 2:30 in the morning, I awoke to the sounds of Tommy throwing up in the bathroom. I went to the bathroom door.  He could hardly stand up. I called for an ambulance, but the dispatcher said something big was happening and it would be 30 minutes or more before they could get there. We couldn’t wait that long, so I called my cousin Tony, who lived nearby. He helped me carry Tommy down the stairs so I could take him to the hospital. Tony stayed to tell my grandmother what was going on. Tommy had to be admitted to the hospital and put on an IV to get his blood sugar under control.

The next day, as I was driving home, I thought about what a coincidence it was that I just happened to be at my grandmother’s on the exact night Tommy went into sugar shock. I found myself thanking God that my grandmother didn’t have to deal with it.

As the miles rolled under my tires, I settled back into my all-too-familiar funk.  “Gee, thanks, God,” I thought. “You’re doing a great job here.”

I was nearing a rest area north of Harrisonburg with my emotions still spinning like a waterspout, my brain foggy and my attitude in the toilet when the most amazing thing happened.  In an instant, my mind cleared and my emotions calmed. Something wonderful washed slowly over me like a bucket of warm honey being poured on my head. It was beautiful and refreshing. I got an answer to my prayer.

“OK, God. You have my attention.”

God’s grace to you,

Steve Jennings

Executive Director

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Author: teensopposingpoverty

Steve Jennings is the founder and Executive Director of Teens Opposing Poverty (TOP), and has over 20 years of experience training youth and intergenerational groups how to be in ministry with homeless and poor people.

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