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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Emergency’… as in a medical emergency.

It is a moment that one hopes never arrives. When it does, though, the hope is that everyone has what they need. In this case, they did.

With twenty minutes left in our gathering last Sunday morning, mid-way through my teaching about “dwelling in scripture,” a voice calls out, “Sir! Sir! Stop!” The choir was sitting behind me. The voice from one of the choir members shouts again, this time with more urgency. “Sir, Sir! Stop!” So I stopped. And I turned around to see what was happening.

Because no one ever calls me Sir, and I’m abundantly wired for adaptability, which makes me ready for nearly anything and everything at just about any time, I assumed this was part of some prearranged ruse cooked up by my colleagues who wanted to see “What would happen if…?” When I turned around, it was clear that almost nothing had been prearranged. A choir member was having a medical emergency. The next several moments were quite focused. All of the training and rehearsing were brought to bear. AED. 911. Prayer. Crowd management. Clear communication. Within minutes, the paramedics arrived, and the congregation was dismissed. Soon the ambulance was on its way to the hospital with its precious cargo.

Twenty-four hours later, we celebrated the good news that “all is well.” This time. But for someone, somewhere, at some time, this will happen again. The question is, will everyone have what they need? Indeed, what we needed had been prearranged: training, a plan, and a clear understanding of crowd psychology during crises. But we also had a powerful bit of ancient wisdom. As the emergency unfolded, we dwelled in this: “The LORD, your God, is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

It is a moment that one hopes never arrives. But when it does, and it will, our hope is always in God’s ancient promises dwelling within us.


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog,  Thriv’ëon Rhythms.

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