Dead or Alive
by Jeff Fuller
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Recently we called the ambulance to 226 Jackson Street for what we thought might be a life threatening issue for Granny.
Many of you may know Granny as Ruby or Mrs. Ruby. Tina and I call her Momma, but that has to be curtailed at times, because folks think we are brother and sister, instead of husband and wife. Honestly, for over twenty three years that is what I have called Ruby, and she is more of a Momma than she is a Mother-in-law. But Savannah calls her Granny, along with many of the teenagers and children at church.
Anyway, the other day she called me at the office and asked that I come home immediately. Tina was hosting Coffee with God and therefore was at the church as well. I told Tina that Granny needed one of us. I sent her to the house and Sandra Steverson followed, while I stayed a little longer at the church. Sandra came back rather quickly and whispered, “You may need to go on and leave this with us.”
If you know Sandra, when she says something you can bank on it; so I immediately went to the house. As soon I walked in the back door, Tina filled me in on what was happening. It seems Ruby was hurting in her chest area, along her left arm, and in general not feeling well. Sounded to be the classic signs of a heart attack, but then I am not that kind of doctor.
Upon seeing her, I immediately said we were taking her to the hospital. As we were walking down the hall to the den, Tina asked about calling an ambulance. I hesitated, but Tina made here case; she was concerned that things might progress from bad to worse and we would not have the adequate care ready and available for our poor Momma. Ruby normally will balk at the suggestion; not because of the people who work an ambulance, but due to the fact she does not like riding lying down and the sirens bother her. Yet, this time she said, “Carry me or call an ambulance; but get me somewhere because I don’t feel right.”
Al Bradley-working dispatch-was kind enough to summon Kellyton Ambulance. Jerry Sewell and Ed Jones do a wonderful job at pampering and paying attention to Granny-they have been here before. We drew a little more attention than she is accustomed to; when you have a special woman she deserves a little attention every once in while. Chief Arms came and held her hand, while Sheriff Wilson kept dispatch advised of what was going on, as the Kellyton crew made their way to Rockford. Personally, I cannot thank everyone enough for checking on us and being such good neighbors.
In short, Granny was not having a heart attack; it was angina with something to do with the rhythm of the heart. She was treated and released from the hospital, with an appointment to see the Cardiologist the following week. We brought her home, fed her, put her to bed, and Nurse Savannah took very good care of her special patient.
The next day, I had the opportunity to run up on Ed Jones-in the ambulance-and I thanked him for being so good. He and Bruce were real somber, cautiously asking on Ruby’s situation. I told them she had come home from the hospital and that as far as we knew it was not a heart attack. They both breathed a sigh of relief and looked at each other.
“What,” I asked.
Ed spoke softly, “We heard she died.”
“Died?” I asked, “As in expired, dead, gone to the great beyond?”
“We heard she died,” said Bruce.
I laughed and said, “Well, the last time I saw her she was very much alive, but I will check when I get back to the house and make sure.”
We had a good laugh, they assured me they would get the misinformed straightened out, and we said our goodbyes.
Later, when I got home, Tina and Ruby were in the kitchen talking. I immediately walked up to Ruby and took her wrist, checking her pulse. Then I examined her eyes, to make sure she was seeing me, not staring off into space. She blinked. I checked her skin color, took note of the fact she was standing up, and listened for her breaths as I watched her chest rise and fall. Smiling and also breathing a sigh of relief, I announced, “Yep, she’s alive.”
Ruby pulled back, aghast and Tina stopped in mid-placement of a dish going into to the dishwasher. They both stared at me as if I had lost what was left of my mind. I grinned, then began to laugh.
After I explained why I was checking her pulse and proclaiming her as among the living, Ruby was even more shocked. “Someone said I was dead?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” I said with a wiry grin, “Dead as a doornail, laid out and ready for the last trip of your life.”
We laughed, but Granny was still elevating the seriousness, “Someone said I died? Really? They think I’m dead?”
“Yep, Ed said he heard you died,” I said while gaining my composure, “But I informed him you are very much alive, doing well, and even washing clothes.”
The rest of the day was spent making sure friends and family had not heard this version of the story. While they had not heard the news purporting Ruby’s untimely demise, they were lightened in spirit and entertained by the tale, laughing and crying with mirth. In the end, it was fun to retell, regaling in the fun of the moment.
Thankfully the news was not correct, Ruby was and is very much alive, but there is something I have been contemplating, from a spiritual side. Paul said, “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:11 NKJV) The word “reckon” may be better understood by us as “consider.” We are to consider the fact that sin is washed away at confession, repentance and belief, and we are made into a new creation, living in a new life with Christ Jesus. The old man had died and new life has begun!
Therefore the question is: Has the news gotten around that you are dead? If so, then it means others have seen the change in your life. They have noticed a new attitude, a new walk, a new life. You are changed; the old places, the old habits, the old things are not a part of your life anymore. Because if you are dead to the old; then you are alive to the new. If this is true then others will see it and know it and make it known.
Paul said to the church at Ephesus: “You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1-6 NKJV)
That is the news we want to get out. We want the news of a new life, one that is being lived out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our life is to be seen as a changed life and a life that will challenge others.
Whether we are dead (physically) or alive (physically), others will know we are dead (spiritually) and alive (spiritually), by the life we live in this world.
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WOW! This article had suspense, humor and solid gospel all rolled into one good read. We need laughter and we need to stand about truth. Wing His Words!