I don't know about you, but I have a very strong 'Flight Instinct'. At the merest sign of danger, I will be out of the situation as fast as my little legs will carry me. Sadly this will also take place if I see an accident, I will normally feel so scared that I will be unable to stop and help. This has bothered me a lot in the past and I remember many years ago praying about it. I think the reason I would have such a great urge to get out of the situation was from a lack of knowledge of what to do, so feeling helpless. I had an experience the other day that amazed me and scared me but I didn't run away.
I was meant to be meeting someone to do some Treasure Hunting, they were a bit late but I was amusing myself with reading signs outside the cathedral and watching this huge gaggle of French School children with clipboards trying to find random things around Exeter. Some of them were beginning to disperse when I saw one of them running down towards the main entrance of the Cathedral, jump down the steps and pretty much right in front of me, fall over! As soon as he went down he grabbed his leg and was rolling on the floor crying out in pain! Now it is amazing what thoughts can cross your mind in a split second, I thought that maybe he was messing around, I thought that his friends would run to his aid, I thought that I had no idea what to do, I thought Yikes this boy doesn't speak English and I thought I need to pray for him! As I looked at him, he was sitting up and holding his ankle and I could see that it was swelling really badly, I thought it was broken really as the ankle bone was looking very odd! He shouted to his friends and they just laughed, like typical teenagers. So I went over to them first and said that he really needed help, as he was hurt. We went over, and the only thing I could really think was 'I need to pray for this boy - but how do I bring this up with teenagers who don't speak English and with someone who is in obvious pain.' I think I should mention now that my other nightmare is trying to get people to understand me when they don't speak English, or maybe it is me not understanding them - either way, it is way out of my comfort zone. I asked them if they had an adult with them and they didn't, but then their Coach Driver turned up, he really didn't speak any English, at least with the school children they had some understanding. Then some other children from the party turned up and one of the girls spoke really good English, so she was translating for me when I was asking questions. But really the only thought that kept going through my head was 'how am I meant to turn this situation around to offer to pray for him' By this time I was pretty sure his ankle wasn't broken as he was flexing it but it was swelling good and proper! So after standing there for what felt like an age I said to the girl 'Could you tell him that I am a Christian and I would like to pray for his ankle', the girl queried the word 'Christian' to me and as she did, the French girl stood on my other side said that she was a Christian as well! Well there is power in numbers, so at that I felt a bit more confident. The boy was asked if I could pray and in good French style he shrugged and said 'If you like'. So I asked the Christian girl if she would pray as well and she said she would. So we both bent down, laid hands on his ankle and prayed. It was quite a surreal experience because as soon as I began to pray some more of his group turned up and the boy we were praying for was regaling his story to all who would listen, so taking no notice of what I was doing. I asked him if it felt any better and he said no, and there wasn't really an option for me to offer to pray again as some Adults looking after the group turned up and they began sorting out what they were going to do to help him. I chatted to them for a bit and told them where the NHS Walk In Centre was and helped them where I could, but then there was nothing more I could do, so I left.
I walked away with a lot going around my mind, my fellow Treasure Hunter never turned up as I had got the wrong day, but it looks like God had another reason for me to be there. I was at the right place at the right time to help in a situation. It was the first time I hadn't felt helpless in such a situation, and so hadn't wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. I actually knew that I had something that I could do, my only concern was how to introduce it to the situation.