The episode I described yesterday (see post below) reminded me of a story I saw on the Internet this past February and successfully submitted as an illustration to PreachingToday.com.
The story is below and also here with video. It speaks very well for itself. I'll only add that this (and yesterday's story) is a good illustration of Jesus' Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12.
In 1999, Kevin Stephan of Lancaster, New York (pictured above), was a batboy for his little brother's little-league baseball team.
During one game, a player who was warming up accidentally hit Kevin in the chest with a bat. Kevin's heart suddenly stopped. "
All I remember," said Kevin, "is that...all of a sudden (I) got hit in the chest with something, and I turned around and passed out."
Fortunately, a nurse, whose son played on that team, was able to revive Kevin and save his life.
Kevin and his family were extremely fortunate. The nurse was supposed to be at work that night, but she was given the day off at the last minute.
But here's the amazing part of the story.
Seven years later, in 2006, that same nurse--Penny Brown (pictured above)--was eating at the Hillview Restaurant in Depew, New York, when she began to choke on her food.
"The food wasn't going anywhere and I totally couldn't breathe," said Penny. "It was very frightening."
Witnesses say patrons were screaming for someone to help. Then, one of the restaurant employees--a volunteer firefighter--ran out from the back. He wrapped his arms around the victim, applied the Heimlich Maneuver, and saved the woman's life.
When the emergency was over, and a sense of calm returned, the saving restaurant worker and the grateful restaurant customer looked at each other and realized an amazing twist of fate.
The person who saved Penny's life was 17-year-old Kevin Stephan, the same boy whose life Penny saved seven years earlier. She saved his life. And years later, he saved hers.