“When you worry, and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.” That Christmas song was playing on my computer when the phone call came. Our neighbor, Cliff, had heard the ambulance sirens as they went up our road, had followed to offer assistance, and it was he who called me at work.
David had fallen twenty feet from the ladder onto the concrete porch. A two foot puddle of blood surrounded his head, but he was coherent, and had made the 911 call himself. “Don’t put up lights,” I had said. “Don’t risk falling off a ladder,” I had told him. I reminded him of a local man who had recently fallen doing just that, and who was now paralyzed. He smiled and brushed me away with a wave of his hand. “Don’t worry so much,” he said.
It was two weeks before Christmas, and we were planning to have a potluck dinner for all the office staff and he thought the blue icicle lights would look quite welcoming hanging in the covered portico (which is twenty feet in height). But, the old aluminum ladder had crumpled beneath him, toppling him to the ground. The emergency room visit demonstrated nothing worse than a black eye and a large gash on the back of his head, requiring twenty staples.
We both slept fitfully that night-he of course due to pain, and I because I was doing neuro checks every hour to watch for signs of confusion or concussion. I worried about whether he would have any long term effects from the accident, about the cost of the ambulance and the er visit, about whether I could leave him alone so that I could go to work the next day. At four am, I woke with that song running through my head. “And you’ll fall asleep, counting your blessings.”
The potential for tragedy was great –the outcome truly a miracle and a blessing. Psalm 146:5: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” The half-hung lights are lying in a heap on the concrete– not quite the inviting entryway that David envisioned, but we fall asleep counting our blessings!