This is a different kind of post, it’s more like a journal entry. As it happens to all of us, our life and our views are framed by the experiences we have. This past Saturday, July 16, 2016, was one of those for me. Here is as short as I can describe what happened; an event I am still processing.
I took my son to work early and after dropping him off, I drove south for more than an hour. I have a car project at home and was getting some parts from another one to finish mine (I’m not a mechanic, I’m a financial advisor, but I enjoy fixing things). I arrived close to 8:00 am to my destination and started to work on the vehicle. It took me 4 hours to finish. As I was grabbing my tools and putting them in the trunk, rain started to fall. I hurried to pick up the parts and I began to hear thunder, so I got into the car to wait. As it subsided, I went out again, umbrella on hand, to finish picking everything up. And then it happened: I was struck by lightning. Let that one sink in…
There is nothing that can prepare you for something like this. There is no way to make justice or completely describe the instantaneous occurrence of a lightning strike, but I will try.
The first thing was an explosion, and then the world completely around me got all distorted. Fog-like around me, that I now know was really white smoke. There was no control and no logic to what was happening to me. In an instant, I knew I was hit by an unimaginable force that executed total submission of me. A slow-motion type of event, that was actually an instantaneous one. I remember being on the gravel floor and landed on my left side. I saw my body, but couldn’t move. I saw the sky and couldn’t determine if I was alive or dead. Surreal. Then when the world around me stopped moving, and either by the force of the fall or an unconscious movement, I found myself on my back, but I couldn’t feel my body. Then I was able to lift my head and tried to move my limbs. My right arm and left leg started to move, but my left arm and right leg appeared completely lumped; no movement at all. As I began to try to incorporate myself, all I remember that came from my mouth was “Thank you God, Thank you Lord!” as I realized I was alive, that I had survived.
My immediate reaction was to call the homeowner, Martin. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, “Martin, Martin, Martin!” and no one came out of the house. Then the door opened, and Martin came out as I yelled: “Help me, help me, I was struck by lightning!” Martin ran towards me and help me get up. He literally put me on his shoulders, and he carried me inside. My left arm and right leg, unresponsive. I couldn’t feel a thing. As they called 911, I asked that he call Sandy and that I wanted to talk to her. As I spoke to my wife I said to her, “I’m ok, God is good Sandy, God is good, I love you.”
While the ambulance rushed me out to the hospital, the paramedics made all kinds of questions, checked my heart, pulse, inserted an IV. Entering the trauma center, the medical staff waiting for me were wondering if I was the guy that had been struck by lightning; their words, “And he survived?”
Fast forward 8 hours, an empty stomach, no water, a bruised body, two Ct Scans, X-rays, blood work, and endless questions. The end result: there was no damaged at all to my organs, or limbs. The only visible evidence were the marks in my arm and leg where the electricity traveled, in my forehead that I hit with who knows what, and a burned and blown shoe.
The picture above is the tree that was about 20 feet from me that shows the damage of the strike, and the damage in the shoe where the discharge exited, and I am still standing. As I pen these words, tears well up in my eyes, because only by God’s grace, His unfailing love, and His endless mercy, I’m still standing.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3
It is the only reason that I’m still standing.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.