An amazing story was reported last week by the Associated Press.  A good Samaritan stopped along a Wisconsin roadside to assist a couple of ladies in changing a flat tire.  A short time later, and a few miles down the road, one of those ladies returned the kindness by performing CPR which saved the stranger’s life.

Victor Giesbrecht and his wife were driving their pickup on Interstate 94 near Eau Claire on November 5 when they spotted Sara Berg and her cousin, Lisa Meier, stranded on the side of the highway with a flat.  Giesbrecht, a 61 year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, told his wife that it looked like the ladies could use some help, and they pulled over to assist. 

After changing the tire and getting back on the road, Giesbrecht suffered a heart attack.  From the passenger side of the pickup, his wife adeptly applied the brake, safely steered the truck to a halt on the shoulder, and called 911.  Within moments, Berg and Meier reached the scene, recognized the truck, sensed that something was wrong, and stopped.  Giesbrecht was unconscious and was not breathing.  Berg immediately started CPR and continued until paramedics and state troopers arrived with a defibrillator which was used to return his heart to normal function and rhythm. 

This week in an Eau Claire hospital, Giesbrecht and Berg shared a tearful and joyful reunion, along with the first responders.

A state trooper was quoted as commenting, “It’s an interesting turn of fate.”  I know that many of us would readily reject the role of “fate” in remarkable incidents of this kind.  Nor would we want to simply chalk it up to coincidence or luck.  But, exactly to what would we attribute it?

Was it divine Providence?  Was it prompting or intuition provided by some outside source?  For many believers, the Holy Spirit would be identified as the Prompter in such situations.  Or, was it just a circumstance in which a person chose to do good in response to a need and then immediately reaped vital blessings from the seeds of kindness that had just been sown?

I am open to all three suggestions, or that it was a combination of all of them.  I am just grateful that Giesbrecht and his wife chose to be compassionate and helpful to strangers, and that Berg possessed the proper training and had the opportunity to repay them with a life-saving act of kindness.  Any number of “what ifs” would have resulted in a much different outcome to the story.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers,” (Galatians 6:10).

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” (Hebrews 13:2).

Regardless of whether Providence, prompting, or prerogative provides the opportunity, our calling and responsibility remain the same.           

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