Peggy Sanders | Oral, S.D.

Do you ever wonder how circumstances come together to change the life of another person? We hear, “I was just there at the right time.” How did it come to be? Does God guide us to it, without pushing? Or do the actions just “happen?”

Our sons went on a trip to Montana with their grandparents one summer. On one of their meal stops, while they were going through the salad bar, they noticed a woman was choking. Although people recognized the problem, initially no one responded. Then our son 11-year-old son went into action. He could see the woman was still breathing, but just barely, and she was obviously in distress. The 100-pound young man wrapped his arms around the medium sized woman, picked her up off the ground, and performed the Heimlich Maneuver the best that he could; his arms just weren’t quite long enough to get a solid hold. Another bystander came up and started hitting the woman on her back. With help from the two, she coughed up the crouton that had been lodged in her throat. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. How’s that for teamwork?

The next story isn’t as dramatic nor quick, yet it is amazing to me.

During college I was one of five or six in a small Bible study group. We were just random students who happened to come together once a week. One of the men stuttered badly. We waited until he finished his sentences and continued on with the discussions. His stuttering bothered only him. We didn’t pay much attention after the first meeting as the stutter was simply part of him. We knew we all had our quirks and that his was just more obvious than some of ours. At the end of the semester he mentioned he was going to change colleges so he could pursue a major that wasn’t offered at Central. Due to his stutter he didn’t think he could achieve his goals and the major he wanted, so he had settled for his second choice.

Then, he did something that touched us all. He told us the reason he stuttered was his dad was horribly mean to him and his speech impediment got worse over time. He told us that although he was hesitant to attend a Bible study where he knew he would have to talk, he came anyway. He thanked us for our patience and reminded us that he no longer stuttered. He said that it was the acceptance he felt from the group that helped him overcome his problem. He gave credit to us for helping him, yet each of us knew that God is the one who fixed the problem; we were simply vessels. I will add him to my list of miracles I have personally witnessed.

If you think about it, each one of you have likely done or said something that changed someone else’s life. Today I challenge you to consider the ways your positive actions have influenced others. And clap for yourself.

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