The things that I will write about today may leave some of my readers thinking that I was two eggs short of a dozen, out of my mind, off my rocker, a bit deluded, or at the very least, not accepting reality. However, I share them because I have never talked about that day in any detail with even my immediate family. Not that I expect to go anytime soon (I have always told my kids that I expect to live to be a healthy 120 years old!), but I don't want to leave this world without my family and friends really knowing me, whenever that happens. What better time to write about it than now? I'm not sure why, but I also want Duane's friends to know about these things. If you have not read my last post, written yesterday, please read that first. It will help you understand my worldview, not only that day, but for most of my life.
The phone rang at 4:30 a.m. It was Palm Sunday, April 13, 2003. The phone was right next to the bed and I was immediately upright saying, "Hello?" Brandon's voice said, "We've had an accident." My immediate thought was, "This is a test." After all, I had just returned home from three days of learning about the supernatural power of God, and I knew that we have an enemy who wants to immediately rob us of what has been planted in us.
They let me go into the ambulance, where I laid my hands on Duane and prayed a short prayer for him to return to life. Then my sister and her husband drove Mike and I to Chris' house to tell him and Katie. Or maybe Mike drove and they followed. I'll never forget Chris' face as he grabbed the sink to steady himself. I told him I had to go to the hospital to pray for Duane to come back. He said, "Mom, he's dead." I asked my sister if they would take me to the hospital where they were taking Duane, and asked Mike and Chris to go to Darren and Gina. I came home and called my pastor and told him that Duane was in an accident, that he didn't make it, and I asked for him and anyone who would pray for resurrection to meet me at the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital, my pastor and I think his wife (not all details are clear in my mind about who was there), and about eight other people from my church had already arrived. We all believed in miracles. To put it mildly, the hospital staff probably thought we were strange, but they allowed us to gather around Duane and pray. They asked me how long it would take us, I said I didn't know.
We ended up staying at the hospital until about 2:00 in the afternoon. More and more people came from Palm Sunday service at church and joined us. The hospital staff let us move from the hallway into the chapel. When other people wanted to use the chapel to pray, they moved us to a room with a sign on it that said "Classroom." I thought that was appropriate. God was teaching us how to believe for resurrection. Later I read in the hospital notes that we performed some sort of "ritual." Those words stung. We weren't a cult. None of us had ever done anything like that before, but to every single one of us, it seemed completely right, that day. But in fairness to the person who wrote that, I can understand. They probably never saw anyone do that, either before or since.
I remember at some point, someone (I think it was my pastor) asked me, "What if Duane doesn't want to come back?" I wasn't ready to consider that yet, but at 2:00 we all went home. There were people waiting for me there. Someone had called Mike from the hospital to ask him how long his wife was going to continue with what she was doing. He told them "as long as it takes." I so appreciated when I learned that, that he had supported me, even though he surely didn't understand.
The rest of the next four days are pretty much a blur. There were people to call, arrangements to make. I think I was on auto pilot. But I didn't stop praying for resurrection. Nothing is too difficult for God. I called friends who believe in miracles. When I told my cousin how I was praying, she said that she never knew anyone who did that before, but if there was anyone who would, it would be me, and if there was anyone who would want to try to come back, it would be Duane. He had radical faith, too. More than once, he had tried to walk on water. With his shoes on. After all, if he had taken his shoes off, he wouldn't have been in faith, would he?? Duane's friend and wife came from North Carolina to pray for resurrection. They went to the funeral home a half hour before each viewing to pray and believe. Duane had intended to go to NC with them the following week, and he and Duane had made an agreement with each other, that if either of them died, they would pray for each other's resurrection. We prayed for a miracle right through the day of the funeral, which was held on Thursday. We even believed God was giving us signs that we were on the right track. It was Easter week - what better time for a resurrection?
Obviously, our prayers weren't answered the way we wanted them to be. But you will be surprised at what I learned a couple weeks later. Things were happening in the unseen realm, and God gave someone a peek.