Getting a Glimpse of God’s Power

Hold to God's Hand-Sabrina L Greene

God, you are infinitely HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, and we can’t even imagine how great your glory is. For the first time since Monday morning, I am sitting in silence. I remember Monday I was sitting on my ottoman praying and your spirit reminded me of the seraphim that fly about you on your throne crying those very words. I was holding a white pebble in my hand and asking you, “God give me a glimpse of your power and glory. For our minds cannot fathom how great you are.” You did Lord, you indeed did.

The Most Distressing Call of My Life

Thirty minutes later, I received one of the most distressing calls of my life. Uncle Shane called to ask about Dad, and I replied, “What do you mean? Why are you asking how Dad is?”

Shane drew in a sharp breath, “Oh Lord, you don’t know. I don’t want to be the one to tell you over the phone. Oh, god.”

“What is it?! Tell me now, I have to know!” I said immediately going numb.

“I hate to tell you this way, your Dad and James were in a boating accident near a dam, and he has been flown to the University of Tennessee (UT) Medical Center, and he is unconscious. We are heading up, and the deacons are picking up your Mom and Clyde (brother). Be careful!” Shane knew I would not wait on anyone but would leave immediately.

God, I was in shock, and I knew tears were flowing, but beyond that, I just reacted. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me safe on those highways because you know how quickly I arrived and cut two hours very short. Your power and intervention kept me safe.

I walked in Lord, and I saw my dad connected to every machine imaginable, and he was cold, so unimaginably cold to the touch. His skin felt clammy, and I dreaded when my Mom walked into the room. I couldn’t even pray, but your spirit prayed for me.

And I will be honest. I was ANGRY! You knew that I was so angry. I don’t know why. Just that I wanted to run everyone out of the room. But instead, I sat in the corner and just stared as my Mom wept and Clyde read from the Bible where Jesus calmed the storm.

Momma couldn’t even sign the paperwork, so I did, and Clyde handled the medical history and medications. God, thank you for keeping my Mom from having a heart attack.

There were so many people and so much noise, oh the noise. People were telling me to do this and do that, and that I needed to eat. I tasted nothing and didn’t even eat much but instead threw it away.

The Doctor Gave Us No Hope

Jesus, I know you were there because my mind was razor-sharp, and I asked clear and poignant questions when the doctors came in. Thank you for the surgeon who attempted to save his right arm. God, please heal it now so he does not lose the ability they are afraid might be damaged. Bless the man who was so kind and patient explaining how he worked on it.

ICU was hard and the doctor who came in late and told us to think about my Dad’s wishes for life support I’m still angry at. I still want to choke him; he was so flat and cold. I know he was doing his job Lord but basically telling my Mom there was no hope was pointless.

“He has six days he can be on the ventilator, then we have to perform a more permanent option. You need to be thinking of his wishes right now, not yours. And you need to understand that if I take this off him, he will die,” the young doctor told us with no emotion. I felt like slapping him across the face and preaching a sermon at the same time.

I finally told him it was not time to decide, and we were going to take this a day at a time with prayer. If at six days he was still on a ventilator we would talk then but not until later.

God, you gave me your strength and a spirit to fight at that moment. The only word in my mind was NOPE, NOPE, NOPE not yet. You gave me peace too as strange as it may sound to others.

The entire family fell apart after that God, but you gave me peace. I tried to sleep, but I just stared at the window that night listening to the helicopter come in and out and thinking about how Daddy arrived that way.

Everyone else was discussing the possibilities of lung transplants etc. but I couldn’t. You had your hand on me, God, that is all I can say.

Dad When He Woke Up Tuesday Morning

God Had Other Plans

The next morning when Uncle Shane and I went back, and his eyes were wide open, I knew then God you had been showing me your power. Daddy was doing his best to communicate with us, but he couldn’t. We finally found him a pen and paper, and for 20 minutes, we played charades and attempted to read chicken-scratch.

Lord, why you allowed his right arm to be broken is beyond me because you know he is right-handed. I’m laughing a little because you know how impatient he is and this is going to drive him nuts.

Dad clicked the top of the pen over and over quickly, but it did not dawn on us what he wanted. He managed to write the word “snap” in crude lettering.

“Dad, you wrote, snap?” I asked, and he blinked and nodded his head as much as he could in his neck brace. “Are you worried I am going to snap? No, you know better than that, Daddy.” He shook his head impatiently, “Ok are you worried about Clyde or Mom snapping? I gave Mom nerve pills.” Once again, he shook his head and pointed to the paper. “Ok, another word then.” He nodded.

After three more letters, “CAM,” I said, “CAMERA!!!!” He was blinking like crazy God. I said, “You want to see yourself and injuries!” He was nodding and trying to shake his head. “Ok, give me a minute I have to go get my phone.”

At that moment, Lord, I practically skipped out of the ICU because if he was asking for that, he was in his right mind. All the doctors suspected he would have brain damage, NOPE, he wanted me to tell him what all was wrong. I ran into the Trauma Family Lounge and jabbered something, grabbed my phone and ran back.

Uncle Shane and I explained in detail what injuries he had God and blared his eyes when I told him he took a ride in the helicopter. You know he hates the idea of flying, lol. But I knew then it was a matter of time before he could talk again.

You knew my thoughts, though, I wanted to go find the doctor from the previous night and drag him into the room. God, you know I desired to grab him by the nape of the neck and shove him in there and say, “SEE YOU ARE NOT GOD!” I guess it would not have been very ladylike or Christian though. But yes, I thought it, I felt he took pleasure in watching my Mom get upset. Oh well, you deal with him Lord it isn’t my place.

I did not expect that in the space of five hours, you would have the medical team remove the ventilator! They all said it would be three days before they tried not 24 hours. And I will admit I did not expect to see him talking a mile a minute when Mom and I walked in the room.

James Rich's at Fort Loudon Hospital
James Rich’s at Fort Loudon Hospital

Rev. Ronald Q. Greene’s Account

Yes, I know me of little faith, I thought he would be hoarse and sound like a pitiful squeaky frog. Instead, he said, “Wash my face.” I tried, but I wasn’t very good at it because of all the cuts.

Mom was smiling, and so was Dad, “I remember everything,” he told us. “Honey, do you remember last year when I lost my phone fishing in the same spot? I should have looked for it while I was down there.”

I thought my mom was going to slap him for that remark, LOL! I said, “Seriously, Dad?” He just laughed.

Dad said that he and James were getting to close to the dam, and when James tried to start the boat motor, it stalled. They tried and tried, but it would not crank, and the current pulled them to the wall. Dad tried to wave for help, but everyone was too far away. He remembers pushing the boat off the wall several times but to no avail. When the boat got under the spillway, they just went down. The spillway force gave Dad a beating, and he hunkered down into a ball. When he was sucked under, he was near the bow and was pinned between it and the dam.

“The boat slapped the wall of the dam three times before it broke apart and I was pushed to the bottom,” he told us as he lay in bed, “I thought to myself well this is it.”

He said his feet touched bottom and he kicked off the floor of the dam. After that, he went unconscious. He does not recall anything after that.

Fort Loudon Dam

Meeting the Fishers of Men-Their Account

Fifteen minutes later, Mom, Clyde, and I got to meet the men who saved my Dad and James’ lives. They told us the entire story and could not believe Dad was awake. Their stunned faces told us all we needed to know. Bucky, one of the fishing guides who saved Dad said, “He was dead, no, you don’t understand he was dead when we pulled him out of the water.”

Bucky told us that he and Steve were just waiting for James and Dad to surface after they went down. James came up first and was, “flapping like a duck,” according to them with his lifejacket wrapped around his wrist. He was the first they reached, and Steve grabbed him. James was conscious and fighting for his life. At this point, Dad had not yet surfaced, and Bucky was motioning for other boats to get near them and help.

After a few more minutes, closer to five or longer, Dad’s lifeless body surfaced without his lifejacket as it had been sucked off him. He was face down in the water and in a current that would quickly carry him away from any help downriver. Bucky told Steve and another man in his boat to hold on to James because they did not have time to wait. At that point, Bucky fired up their motor and raced over to Dad. James was yelling in pain, but they had no choice but to pull him alongside the boat just holding on to him.

Bucky grabbed my Dad and flipped him over. “I knew I was holding a dead man.” As Bo’s boat arrived a small spark of life came out in the form of a feeble cough from Dad’s lungs. That was when they went into action. Bucky yelled for Bo to get him in his boat and start CPR. Steve jumped into that boat and started. It was a full 40 minutes before my Dad and James were in ambulances on their way to Fort Loudon Hospital. James was treated and released from there with many cuts that had to be sewn up, and Dad was airlifted to UT. Bo, Bucky, and Steve didn’t believe they would see my Dad alive again.

God, you had another plan, didn’t you? I was delighted to share with these literal fishers-of-men your good news! I told them Dad could not wait to meet them.

Lord Jesus, bless the Fishing with Bo company with so much business they cannot even handle it all! Bucky, Steve, and Bo were your human angels Monday. They listened to your call and served powerfully. God, Bucky told us he was five minutes from leaving the location when he noticed Dad and James in trouble. Steve said he talked to Dad the entire time he was performing CPR. He didn’t have to do that God, tremendously bless him as well. And Bo made sure Dad was carried to the ambulance since they would not come to the shore. Bo is still mad about that Lord, so please give him peace. But bless him for making the call and working with the other men for your glory.

I couldn’t help but laugh that these three men and my Dad are already planning a fishing trip. Although it shouldn’t surprise me. Mom asked them if they wanted to buy Dad’s boat since James’ is at the bottom of the dam now, she said his must go.

Get Well Card made by Mattie Rose and MicKinley Rich

The Unknown Hand

All in all, God, you are powerful in ways that our limited minds cannot grasp. I know from my own experience, I limit you in my mind, and that is foolish. I prayed Monday, and you answered that prayer in a way I never imagined. I asked to see your power, well, there is no doubt I did. Who knows where his testimony is going to end up being heard? And thank you for reminding me now that it is also my testimony, isn’t it?

I have already seen it working in the life of my own husband. JJ has been praising you for days, and Satan keeps attacking him. Little things, of course, but God, I pray that you intervene and send angels to fight for us as a family. We don’t have to battle all you have asked of us is to put on your armor and stand.

Jesus, you told us if we only had the faith of a mustard seed, we could cast mountains into the sea in your name. Dad may not remember telling me this now, but he said he recalls kicking off the bottom and then felt a hand reach and pull him up. He was 26 feet under with 27,000 gallons of water per cubic foot per second on him. Bucky told us when he flipped Dad over, he was dead, blue skin, mouth open, and eyes open and dilated. Dad said that he went unconscious as he got near the top after seeing boulders the size of trucks beneath the dam. Now, whose hand was that? I know, and you know Lord.

Praise your might and glory forever, Lord! AMEN AND AMEN! I look forward to church on Sunday because Dad will be there even if he can’t preach. LOL, and of all days this Sunday is our Homecoming service.

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About Sabrina

Sabrina is a photographer located near Asheville, NC who loves to create stories through her lens. She is known for her conceptual photography inspired by literature and her love of books.

Sabrina is also a portrait, wedding, and small business photographer. Her artistic style bridges the line of cinema and paintings.

And when she’s not photographing people, you can find her indulging in journaling, reading traditional fairy and folktales, daydreaming, or spending time with her family and her pampered dog, Pixel.

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