I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.
~Comedian Elayne Boosler
Within the developmentally disabled community, there is a great need for health and safety instructions. Special needs ministries are probably the only chapel services that must carry rubber gloves in our suit pockets. Additionally, at all times, we have available information regarding medications and emergency numbers to call even though most of our members are legally competent adults. We realize that we must be like Comedian Elayne Boosler and think of credible ways to keep our members safe.
My husband is much this way. He began preparing for crises months and years ahead. He wanted to be sure that his family was safe. I must confess that I would let almost everything slide; but we have been ready for many emergencies because of his insistence.
When I came to work with Special Gathering, I was met with another Preparer in Richard Stimson, the founder and executive director of the ministy. At times, I would verbally resist his constant preparation efforts. Yet, I’d learned from my husband, that I am a bit of a Pollyanna to believe that safety measures are not needed. Each time there has been a crisis within the ministry, we have been prepared and knew exactly the correct steps needed to maintain calm among our members and to insure that the needs of the people involved in the emergency were met.
Several years ago, The Special Gathering choir sang at a local church. I preached and all of our members attended the services for their missions Sunday services. At the end of the service, the offering was taken. The ushers came to the front of the church for a dedication prayer and to deliver the offering plates. As the ushers stood at the altar table during the prayer, one of the church’s ushers had a seizure and she fell to the ground. The church pastor and I were on the podium and we heard the thub when she fell but the pastor could not see who had fallen.
Without missing a minute, three of Special Gathering volunteers came to the front of the church. They started timing the seizure. After three minutes and before the service ended, one of our volunteers called 911. The seizure had not ended and our procedures dictate that the EMT’s should be called. The service ended peacefully; and the pastor and I went to the door to greet the people of the church. I stopped for a few seconds to insure that everything was all right with the seizuring woman and our volunteers.
After almost everyone had left the service, the pastor asked, “Is your member who had a seizure going to be all right?”
Puzzled, I said, “It was one of your members who had the seizure, not mine.” Shocked, she rushed into the sanctuary to see who seizured.
Later, we laughed about how efficiently Special Gathering volunteers had taken charge of the situation. “My members would not have known what to do, if you had not been here.” Then she confessed, “Unfortunately, neither would I.”
Sometimes we hide behind a large tree, thinking that we can’t be touched. The problem is that we don’t realize that we are hiding in plain view. Like Elayne Boosler, it might be wiser to buy six locks and use the alternating three. Thereby, we insure that there would be a method to keep our homes and lives safe.
The Bible gives advice in preparing for every thing from marriage to missions work. There is business and money advice. Much of the Law gives common sense preparation rules for health and safety. God spent thousands of years preparing the hearts of people for Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection. It is always wise to take time to follow Biblical advice and prepare.
Are you prepared for crises in your life? What additional preparations do your need to make?