24: Medics and a Rifle Sight

24: Medics and a Rifle Sight

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

Medics and a Rifle Sight

Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.

~Mother Teresa, Saint Teresa of Calcutta

There was an announcement in church. One of our congregation, Rob, had followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the military. Now his platoon was being deployed to Iraq. Rob would be at a table in the foyer, with a list of the men in his platoon for those who were interested in “adopting” a soldier to pray for during their deployment. You could also write letters and send care packages to your adopted soldier if you liked.

After the service, people swarmed the table, eager to sign up for a soldier. When it was my turn, I asked Rob if there was a soldier who was married and had children. He looked at the list to see who was still available and said, “Matt is married and has two children.”

Over the months that followed, I prayed for Matt, his wife, and children — a boy and a girl. I sent some letters and care packages based on what his wife told me he could use. I had a picture of him and his wife on a bulletin board in the kitchen, so I saw it often and was reminded to pray for him.

One day, I was passing through the kitchen. Suddenly, I heard Pray for Rob right now! The intensity with which it was said stopped me in my tracks.

Rob? I was looking at Matt’s picture on the bulletin board, not Rob’s.

Yes, Rob. Pray for Rob right now!

I asked God what I was supposed to pray for, and suddenly the words came into my mind: “Lord, please protect Rob, and Matt and the others, too, but please especially protect Rob. Please keep him safe. Don’t let him get hurt. Please keep them from getting ambushed. If they are ambushed, please don’t let him be hurt. Don’t let him or anyone in his platoon get killed. Father, if they are ambushed and are wounded, please let medics be there immediately to take care of the wounded. Let them appear out of nowhere. Let them be there, even if that isn’t where they were supposed to be at that time. Provide medics for them — even if they are angels dressed like humans. Just have medics be there as soon as they are needed, even if the soldiers are shocked to see them there.”

My thoughts were directed to a new line of praying. “Lord, please don’t let Rob be killed.” The urgency of the need for prayer was startling.

Suddenly, an image of a rifle and its sight came into my mind. Pray that a bullet aimed at Rob’s head will be deflected by his rifle sight and not kill him.

Well, that didn’t make sense. A rifle sight is so small. It would take a miracle for a bullet to hit a rifle sight and be deflected. But that voice in my head said, Pray it anyway.

So I did. “Please don’t let a bullet aimed at Rob’s head hit him like the shooter intended. Please let the bullet deflect off his rifle sight. Don’t let it kill him. Please protect his life!”

I continued to pray until the inner urgency left, and my spirit was peaceful once again.

During a Sunday morning church service, we learned that Rob and members of his platoon were ambushed when they were checking out a house. We didn’t have much information at first, but what we had didn’t sound good. Rob had been shot multiple times.

He was taken to Germany, and then flown back to the United States where he spent many months in the hospital until he was well enough to be discharged to continue his recovery at home.

Over time, I learned what had happened in the ambush, and I knew why God had urged me to pray so specifically that day in the kitchen. It turned out that a bullet had deflected off Rob’s rifle sight, saving him from even worse injuries. And there had been medics on site immediately, including one with advanced medical training that was needed to save Rob’s life.

~Maureen Longnecker

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