Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Kristi Griffin was on her way to meet her husband, Eric, at the land where they were building their new house. On the way Krist had stopped to pick up her four-year-old daughter Ericka who had been staying with Grandma today. "Ericka was at the age where she liked to 'help' with everything," Kristi says." She had to be watched closely.
Kristi had some other thoughts too. She and Eric, and three other couples, had come together and bought about 100 acres of undeveloped woods, so each family could build their own house with the help of the others. The project had started out in a positive light, but now Kristi wasn't so sure it was a good idea. There had been two brush fires recently, both close to their house. Was God telling them to move?
"As we turned into the gravel driveway I could see Eric and Corey, our eleven-year-old son, were both there," says Kristi. "We had been at the house site almost every day for six months, so we decided to let Corey play with a friend for a while." Eric, Ericka, and Kristi went up to the second floor to do the normal clean-up duties.
"I was about five feet away in the balcony area picking up 2x4 remnants," Kristi recalls. "As I bent over to grab another piece I heard a "ping" echo below us. The shop vac wasn't running, and fear gripped me because the only noise that could've been was a broom handle hitting the concrete slab twelve feet below." Kristi rushed to the end of the balcony and looked down. It wasn't a broom handle lying on the cement. It was Ericka!
Sreaming, Kristi flew down the stairs, but Eric got there first. They tried several attempts to waken Ericka but nothing worked. Finally, she opened her eyes though they were both fixed in an upper left position, and her neck had no control. Head trauma, Kristi thought, panic stricken. She grabbed Ericka as Eric ran for the car.
On the way to the hospital, Eric tried to call on the cell phone for a police escort but it was almost 9 p.m.; and they could not find us. The dispatcher began asking Ericka questions and some she was alert enough to answer. At one point she asked her daddy to sing "Jesus loves me." With tears washing down his face, Eric managed to get through most of the song, but when he broke down, Ericka finished it for him. These were all good signs but by the time they reached the hospital, Ericka was vomiting----another sign of head trauma.
"Immediately they began IV's, X-rays, CT scans, etc., to determine any damage to the right side of her head where she landed onto the concrete," Kristi says. "We contacted family and friends, to begin the prayer chain. During her tests, we saw blood coming from the Ericka's right nostril... causing us to panic again. Minutes seemed like hours, hours like days as they completed one test after another. Kristi continued to pray. Finally the doctor came to them. "I don't know how this happened," he said, shaking his head, "but your daughter has just a minor concussion." No apparent brain damage. Not even a broken bone. "There's a small piece of cartilage on the top of Ericka's right ear that cushioned the blow, and that may have been a part of saving her life."
"Children are very resilient," a nurse added. This is true but Kristi was sure that God Himself had safely carried her baby down twelve feet onto the concrete. "We thanked the Lord for His blessings during this time," she says, "but we did not know the extent of the miracle and the many who had interceded in prayer for Ericka."
For example...at 2:30am the morning after the accident, Kristi phoned her cousin, Eydie, in Louisiana to give her the news. "My dad had called earlier and left a message on the answering machine, but all he knew was that Ericka fell from the second floor," Eydie told Kristi. Upon hearing her dad's message, Eydie had experienced a sharp pain on the right side of her head, but didn't know why. Together she and her husband prayed in intercession for Ericka. Upon saying "Amen" Eydie's pain had stopped. She knew at that moment Ericka would be fine, as she felt the heaviness lift away.
For example.... a man, Tonye, from the Griffins' church, held a prayer service with his friends at work at 2:15 the day following the accident. That turned out to be the exact hour Ericka vomited for the last time (during another MRI scan),
For example....after the accident, Kristi hired a photographer to take pictures of the children. The woman was new to the neighborhood, and told Kristi during the sitting that she was a Christian and considered her photo skills as a gift from God. "I like to think God gives me people not only to photograph but also to pray for," she mentioned in a note to Kristi after the session. Kristi decided to send the photographer a "thank you" note and at the last minute mentioned their "miracle" with Ericka. The next day, an email arrived.
"I'm trying to see through teary eyes," the photographer told Kristi. "You see, I know Tonye too, and I was in my previous office when he came in that day and announced the need for prayer for a little girl who had fallen onto cement. I immediately started praying, and alerted our entire prayer group by email to ask them to pray also. I never dreamed that I would actually get to see this little miracle, much less get to take her picture."
Ericka made a complete recovery, and Kristi and Eric believe that not only did God save her life, those who prayed had a hand in it too.
What a blessing it is that we can pray for those we don’t even know an God will use our prayers.
Dear Lord, thank You for the power of prayer. Thank You that we can gather together whether it be in the same room or across the city or across the world and You will be right there with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.