What follows is the text of a message I posted to the New-Wine mailing list describing my recent electrical accident, and some of its significance to my faith in Jesus.To: firstname.lastname@example.org
...And it wasn't the anointing, either ;) But seriously, I want to tell a little story of God's faithfulness. On the evening of April 4, 2002, I had a bit of an accident involving my #2 son's kite, a ladder, a paint roller, a 20,000 volt power line and three goldfish. In short, I was electrocuted to the tune of 20K volts. Having arrived home late from work into the midst of family chaos (not entirely unusual with four kids), I elected to rescue my son's kite from the electrical line where he had somehow gotten it entangled during the day. At the time, I really hadn't realized that the wires were high-voltage lines; in fact, I hadn't thought about them at all. They were simply an inconvenience that had to be dealt with, preferably before the sun set for the evening. It turned out that the kite material itself was wrapped around the wire, so I lashed together a bamboo pole to try and untangle the mess. This worked well for a while, and when I noticed the transformer attached to the wires I thought, "I never realized that there was a transformer on that pole before". I gave the matter no further thought. The wind picked up and my poor bamboo pole was proving to not be strong enough to push the kite against the wind. My wife came outside to see what I was doing and suggested that I switch to using some telescoping paint-roller poles that our landlord had left in the garage. This seemed fairly clever to me, so while she went back in to put the children to bed, I lashed together a new pole made out of aluminum paint roller extensions. I climbed back up my aluminum ladder, and yes indeed my new pole worked a lot better. I was finally able to flip the kite up and over the wire and BLAM! The next thing I knew I was looking at my something brown, possibly my foot. Yep, that was definitely my boot. Why was I looking at my boot? And I didn't seem to be vertical anymore. In fact I was lying on my back on the ground with apparently no body (at least none that I could feel) and my boot inexplicably directly in front of me. Nope, I was floating slightly above the ground. Actually, I felt the buzzing of an electric shock all through my body. I thought "<expletive mode=alliterative>! I'm shocked". Suddenly, even though I still couldn't move anything, everything made sense. My foot was still apparently touching the ladder which must mean that I was still in the circuit. But how could I move myself out of the way while the electricity held me? I don't really know how I did it, but I rolled away from the ladder. I discovered that I had some control of my left hand now. I also discovered that I was wailing like a baby. I'd been wondering what the strange noise was. My body was still buzzing, so I figured that I needed to get farther away from the ladder. I dragged myself off the lawn and onto the driveway. By this time I was actively shouting for my wife to come and help me. I managed to get my legs under control, but my right hand was definitely messed up. It felt *hot*. And my right arm was just flailing about: it looked like a snake attached to my shoulder. Anyway, I staggered into the house, all the while wondering why I couldn't stop shouting since my wife was obviously unable to hear me. Once I got inside, I started running cold water on my burned hand. I couldn't even feel it. If I thought that the house was chaotic when I got home, it was nothing compared to the way things got with an injured dad. My wife was on the phone to the ambulance dispatcher, my four-year old daughter was screaming, the kite-flying son was pestering me for explanations of everything, #1 son was trying to keep daughter from freaking out, The two-year-old asking "is it owie dad?" After about twenty minutes, I discovered that my left leg also hurt. Taking off my pants, I found five large burns on my left thigh, to match the five craters the electricity had blown in my hand (which was finally starting to hurt). Eventually, the ambulance arrived. They took me off to an emergency department in Dublin where they bumped me to the head of the queue, drugged me, took x-rays, and transferred me right away to the burn unit at St. James' hospital downtown. At St. James' I had to endure a series of execrable puns from the head nurse, while they hooked me up to various machinery and prepped me for the doctor's visit. When the doctor came, he proceeded to explain some of what had happened to me. In particular, that electrical burns cook you like a microwave: from the inside out. He was particularly worried about the problems I was having with my right hand; I could move my fingers slightly but not my wrist. He measured the pressure in my forearm several times. He told me that surgery might be necessary to relieve the pressure build-up and prevent additional complications, but over the course of the next several hours the pressure dropped to acceptable levels. The heart monitor showed no prolems, either. Ok, what was the point of this exceedingly verbose and graphic description of an unfortunate incident in my life? Well, aside from trying to do a good job of telling the story ;) There is a God-factor operating here, which I find rather interesting. I attended one of the Morningstar Prophetic Conferences in 1998 where, in a break-out session of 200 or so, Bob Jones prophesied to us in the room that we were all entering a seven-year training program with the Lord, and that we would all complete it. He explicitly told us not to worry about dying along the way - God was going to carry us through to the end of the course and subsequently use us. I thought, "Right. This prophecy is going to be *so* verifiable, now isn't it? Are we going to have some kind of grand reunion in 2005 and count heads?" Well, this prophecy has a *lot* more credibility with me now, because I have survived this accident relatively unscathed: According to the best statistics I've been able to find on the web 1 in 6 electrocution victims die before they ever reach the Emeergency Room. I haven't seen a breakdown of that statistic into low-voltage (< 500V) and high-voltage accidents, but the anecdotal evidence that I have heard from Electric Co. representatives and friends who have worked in the business is that the death rate from high-voltage trauma is *much* greater ("They're mostly blown to bits"). Additionally 75% of high-voltage injuries result in amputations. I am alive and whole. If that doesn't testify to God's faithfulness *and* argue for the accuracy of this prophecy, I don't know what would. ------------ There is more to the story, of course, but much of it is fairly personal. God has been using this time to show me a few things about the difficulties I've experienced over the last few years. In particular, I never really realized that the healing process is immensely frustrating...but that would be a story for another time. 1 Thess 5:20-21 (NASB) Do not despise prophetic utterances, but examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. Footnotes:  Actually no. There were no goldfish involved, although you could argue that, instead of my brain, I was using the goldfish for thinking...  If you've ever gotted zapped with household power, you know exactly what I mean.  Really, this was my exact thought. I wish I could do this well when I'm trying to write songs.  This was clearly a mistaken perception. If I had been in a 20KV circuit this long I would have been very thoroughly dead.  The ambulance got lost and couldn't find the house.  Not a particularly pleasant procedure, involving a moderate-sized needle jab, but fascinating, nonetheless.  AC-shock victims are susceptible to heart arrythmias leading to possible heart-attacks in the first 24 hours.  I *think* it was the "level 2" conference in August, but that's a detail that my memory has not seen fit to keep very fresh...  And yes, there are still healing issues, both short and long term, but that's not the point of this excessively-footnoted article.