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Ever Felt So Alone...

I was at the motor vehicle administration. As I left the building, in the middle of the road I saw an old man lying on his back...he was writhing in pain. Clutching his hip...

· Inspiring Growth,Mark P Fisher

One, then two, then three began to surround him. He was old, frail, a war veteran stumbling over his feet, based on his screams, probably breaking his hip on the way to renewing his license.

Alone, yet not alone.

Strangers quickly danced around this fallen African-American man in his 80s. One from Costa Rica, one from the Bronx, a burley Anglo retired vet, a slight Chinese girl...and me...

No one was with him. But everyone was with him.

He was writhing in pain. Clutching his hip, searching for his cell phone and wallet. Tears running down his tired eyes and cheeks.

As one redirected traffic around him, another called 911, I, leaned over holding his hand and tried to call his daughter-in-law, and another placed a pillow under his head, I felt the phrase coming out of my chest forming on my lips,

'you're not alone.' I whispered.

Calm washed over his face. His body let go of the fear and tension. Relaxed eyes appeared. A grateful smile began to curl up his cheeks.

Calm washed over his face. His body let go of the fear and tension. Relaxed eyes appeared. A grateful smile began to curl up his cheeks.

Alone, yet not alone.

The professionals arrived.

The strangers smiled and thanked each other.

We were gone.

Then it happened again. Lori and I were driving south to Richmond on 95 to meet our kids to celebrate birthdays.

We stopped at a rest area.

As we were leaving, Lori noticed a tattooed man of 40ish with cropped hair and sunglasses struggling to breathe, sitting, slumping over in a chair.

"I'm going to die" he kept saying "I'm going to die."

A worker called 911. Lori looked at me with those telling eyes, let's not leave yet.

I got down on one knee, put my warm hand on his cold wrist to feel a pulse. As if I knew what I was doing. I begin to talk to him. I read aloud his dog-tags, he said one was his wife's, one was his.

"I don't know what's going on," he whispered, "I ate some fast-food and now I can't breath."

His pale-face screamed fear.

Alone, yet not alone.

Hunched over I asked questions. And then I felt it again, as I held his wrist, speak these words,

'you're not alone.'

No sooner did the words leave my lips I saw a transformation.

His tense body relaxed.

Color began to return to his face. His neck, once swollen, began a slow reshaping to normal. I asked to call his wife - her name appeared in redial: 'beautiful Lori.' I smiled and told him me too, so was my wife.

Alone, yet not alone.

The professionals arrived.

We quietly breathed a deep prayer of gratitude.

We said goodbye.

Alone, yet not alone.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

'Alone Yet Not Alone' performed by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada.

Keep your eyes on me
When you're lost in the dark
Keep your eyes on me
When the light in your heart is
Too burned out to see

Keep your eyes on me

You swear you're all alone sometimes
Keep your eyes on me

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