Terror washed over me like a giant ocean wave. I felt like the air had been sucked out of me and I couldn’t breathe. It was an unexpected, ferocious but nevertheless warranted attack by the perpetrator but the numbers were against me. I was no match for a 600 pound sow. How was I going to escape her relentless pursuit? I had intruded upon her territory and was suddenly and unexpectedly the enemy. Her instinct to protect her young came to the fore. It was the most frightening day of my life.
It had been six days since God had sent Paul Williams, one of the least of these, to remind us that He was in control of our lives and to rest in Him. Because of the disease that began racing through the barn killing baby piglets at breakneck speed, Evan had decided to take a sow who was due to have her litter any day and build a separate pen for her in another part of the barn to hopefully keep her piglets from becoming victims of the siege.
The next morning, I decided to show my five year old granddaughter the baby piglets born the night before. We entered the top of the barn and spotted the sow and her little ones resting quietly. I thought it would be nice for Alyssa to hold one of the babies up close so I entered the stall. Usually sows are put in farrowing crates during delivery so as not to have the sow roll over on top of her babies suffocating them. I have on many occasions reached into the pen and pulled out babies for Evan to needle so on this occasion, I never thought that it would be any different. It was! Evan neglected to tell me that she was an exceptionally aggressive sow and had to be careful around her himself.
No sooner had I reached for one of the piglets when the sow grabbed me with her enormous jaw and threw me across the pen. I had the presence of mind to tell my granddaughter to make her way back to the house. I then tried to stand up but she grabbed me again and threw me to the rear of the stall. I panicked! The sow was relentless. It was in that moment that I thought that I might die there in that filthy pig sty. I knew that Jesus was right there with me and quickly prayed that He would help me find a way out. She grabbed me once more and threw me to the other side with tenacity and fury! She persevered. With one final toss, I found myself at the gate and quickly hustled over it. I lay there for a while stunned and sore but thanked Jesus for his protection. I was acutely aware that my life had been spared.
Two days later, I was over at my daughter’s home to explain to her what had happened when Alyssa spent the day with me. Soon after my arrival, she received a frantic call that Evan had an accident at the farm and the local fire department was on the scene. Paramedics were working to stabilize him before making their way to the hospital. Apparently, his Dad had asked him to pick pears from the huge pear tree near the barn so he retrieved the front end loader and raised the bucket as high as it would go. He put a ladder in the bucket and climbed to the top of it - then reached! That’s all he remembers. He fell thirty feet on to concrete and his Dad later said that it sounded like the spat of a pumpkin.
When I arrived at the hospital, he was being attended to by doctors trying to save his life. He had broken all of his ribs on the left side and many on the right as well having a collapsed lung, two broken vertebrae and nerve damage to his left shoulder and chest. After doing what they could, the doctors had him placed in the ICU. Our children as well as both of our families and friends filled the waiting room that evening.
The next day was not a good one. They limited visitors and by the time I left that night, he look very grave and certainly did not look like my Evan. I received a call from Dr. Maurice in the wee hours of the morning telling me that Evan had developed a pulmonary embolism and for me to call the family in as he wasn’t sure he’d survive. Our son picked up his sisters and he later told me that it sounded like a Pentecostal prayer meeting in the car as they quickly sped their way to a different hospital. They prayed continuously as they made their way to the assigned room where I was waiting in tears. Dr. Maurice came out to inform us of his condition and was taken aback with the family’s response of tears and prayers. Thankfully, he related that Evan would be alright but would take a long while to heal.
Evan still does not have any recollection of the fall nor of much that happened during his time in the hospital. He doesn’t remember the frantic steps to save his life, the pastors, family, and friends that visited, the time he spent in the chapel, nor the fact that he was rushed to another hospital because of the pulmonary embolism.
We had both made foolish decisions which could have ended tragically. We had cause to be thankful to God for family and friends, His care and keeping as well as His teaching and to reflect upon our own mortality. We have become more aware of His constant presence. Perhaps God was preparing both of us for what lay ahead. We certainly could not even conceive of what would soon follow.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Anne Snider 🍃
Debi Snider... more