by Lucian Thompson
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“Dispatcher, this is 509, I need rescue, stat. I can’t stop the bleeding.”
10-4, 509, rescue’s ETA is five minutes.
It was too late; the young girl lying in the mud with a severed carotid artery bled out in my arms. I felt the life leave her body and a chill enveloped my soul. I couldn’t make a difference though I did all I could. She was dead in my arms and her blood was all over me.
I took off my uniform jacket and lay it gently over her face and body to shield her from the gawking eyes of the bystanders that were gathering on the side of the road. As I stood and walked toward my patrol car, some bystanders shrieked in horror; the blood on my face and hands began to mix with the lightly falling rain and I appeared as if I had been a victim of a butcher’s madness. Her blood flowed from me as my own. I could taste her death.
“509 to Dispatcher, I…I wasn’t able to save her. She is gone…in my arms…she is gone.”
“10-4, 509, you did your best. Rescue will be there any minute.”
I put the mike down on the front seat and placed both hands on the hood of my patrol car and cried the tears of a Cop who has seen too many tragedies, too many wasted lives, too many families who would not be able to understand the senseless loss of a loved one due to speed or careless driving.
After 40 years, I still remember her name. Carolyn was just 17 and she died a horrible death while driving the new car she had just received as a graduation present from her parents. She was so proud of her new wheels and wanted to show it off to her friends. As she approached an intersection with a 4-way stop sign, she stomped the accelerator instead of the brake and launched into the side of a car that had just entered the intersection. She didn’t have her seat belt on and was catapulted out of the front windshield, tumbling over the car she hit and into a shallow ditch. She was cut all over her head and upper torso and her carotid artery was cut. I arrived within 2 minutes of the call, but was too late to make a difference.
From time to time I relive this event and I think about my own life and how reckless and careless I have been in the past. I see myself with blood all over me, lying in the gutters of life with many bystanders looking on in horror at how I appeared to them.
My life had been out of control and I was destined to be a dead man till someone came to my aid in the nick of time. He let His blood flow all over me and raised me from the penalty of death unto eternal life with Him. Jesus took my bloody hands and face and cleansed them with His blood. The bystanders now appeared as the whole angelic host of Heaven and cheered for me, who was lost, but now found.
The butcher that would have destroyed me was now under subjection at the name of Jesus. My name will not be forgotten either as it is written down in the Book of Life.
I still shed tears for those who are the victims of senseless tragedies. Long ago, I left the police force to trade being one public servant for being another type of public servant…Pastor. My badge doesn’t say Police any more, it now says, COP…Christ Or Perish.
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I must tell you, dear Lucian, that this article was difficult for me to read as I too have sat on the side of the road and held someone in my arms as they died. However, the man was heavily intoxicated. Everytime I closed my eyes, I saw the blood pouring from his eyes, his ears, his nose, his mouth. The vision was haunting. I had to go to this stranger's funeral and see him cleaned up to get closure. It was there that a woman called out to me, his wife, and then told her son, James Jr., "This is the angel who was there at the scene." Closure from the accident... somewhat. But the lady's statement haunts me still... Did I do all that I could do for that man, not necessarily physically, but spiritually? Do I do all that I can do for the lost souls who touch my life somehow? How much blood is there on my hands? His grace is sufficient enough for us that we can be sure the blood on our hands is covered securely by the blood our blessed Redeemer shed for us, for our hope is truly in The Promise Keeper. Thought provoking, dear friend and brother.
He sees, He knows, He feels our every tear and anguish. This is excellent, My Friend. God is opening the doors of heaven even now and pouring out His Spirit. We are about to see things we "could only imagine." Be blessed, Watchman, your calling forth has not been in vain.
Bravo and Amen! "Christ Or Parish" should be a bumper sticker.
From time to time, Lucian, I read something that starts the goosebumps rising within the first few words and they don't diminish even after the last word has long since been read. Such was C.O.P. The death of my own son in such an accident, just one reason for my physical response, I'm sure. And the one holding him at those closing moments... Christ Himself, as their two bloods mingled ... and they went home hand-in-hand. However, Lucian, the most gripping element for me lays visualized in your words I could taste her death. Just typing these words starts the goosebumps rising again. They're dying all around us, Lucian. Why can't we taste their death? If only we tasted their death, would we keep our mouths closed? Would we let them pass without spilling life's blood upon their way? Once again, Lucian, your words stir conviction within this soul. Christ or Perish! Let's give them Christ ....
You did good Lucian. I like the way you take your life's experiences and use them for the Glory of God. Lee