30: To The Rescue
Stories in this episode: A surprising request from a frightened mother reminds Steve that being spiritually prepared is just as important as physical preparation in rescue work; Lindsey feels guided to save the elderly man under the tree but her plans are changed when she realized what she’s really there to do; With a mysterious illness plaguing his wife, Baron’s flagging faith gets a boost from allowing others to serve his family.
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Remember how I said that there was another story for another day? Well here it is.
How Neighbor Steve Saved Me from The Backyard Burglar by KaRyn Daley Lay
I didn’t even know that anything was wrong until I opened the door to find the police standing on my porch. I had heard the pounding knocks while I was getting out of the shower and quickly threw some clothes on thinking that it was probably a neighbor or a salesperson (although, why in the world would there be salespeople at 8:30 a.m. on a weekday? Pest Control?). Instead, I was greeted by two of Salt Lake’s finest who informed me that my neighbor had called 911 regarding a home invasion that was in process at my house. RIGHT NOW.
Stunned, I walked with them to the back of my house where they pointed out the footprints in the fresh snow that seemed to be going back and forth between two windows, both of which had bent frames where someone had clearly tried to jimmie the window open—one of those was the window to the bathroom where I had been just minutes before. Apparently, when the intruder had not found luck with the windows, he had tried to kick in the back door. The door was damaged but had not quite given in. Thank goodness.
I was shaken to say the least. I called my husband Justin who had already left for work and we tried to piece together what must have happened. We’d had a rash of burglaries in our neighborhood in the recent months, so that part wasn’t at all surprising. But the fact that someone had tried to get in while I was home was super weird. We figured that they had made their way to the back of the house in the time that I was gone to the gym (back when I did such things) and Justin had left for work, and while they were going between windows and doors, I had come back and gone into the house to shower. Maybe they were so tweaked out on drugs or adrenaline that they hadn’t heard the car drive in? Or maybe they had. I shuddered to think about the latter option.
We learned later that there was another drama playing out at the house just behind ours. We share a fence with Steve and his wife Rachel and when we’re standing on our respective porches in the winter when the trees are bare, we can just barely peek over the fence and see the back of each other’s houses. That morning, Rachel was making breakfast when she noticed something outside the kitchen window. She couldn’t quite make it out, but it looked like someone was trying to break into our house. She yelled to her husband who, because of his SWAT training and emergency work was the resident neighborhood protector. Steve, who was in the middle of getting ready for the day and wasn’t even fully dressed yet, threw on some sweat pants and grabbed his gun while Rachel called the police. He told me that he was just waiting for them to break in so he could hop the fence and catch them mid-burglary because then the police were sure to catch them...He ran to his porch, barefoot in the snow, waiting and watching.
And then he saw my car in the driveway and realized that I was in the house. As Steve says in the podcast, he “loves making decisions under duress in a time-competitive environment” and he now knew that the stakes were much higher so he made a decision right then and there to change tactics. He yelled loudly and waved his gun around at the burglar letting them know he was there and he was coming for them. The burglar got spooked and ran off.
The police took pictures of the shoe print in the snow and left with the promise to contact us if anything came of it. We replaced the back door which was severely structurally compromised and only moments from giving way when Steve intervened. We got a few new deadbolts, some motion sensor lights for the carport, and I baked my very best loaf of “thank you for saving my life” chocolate coconut banana bread for Captain Steve, who shrugged the whole thing off as if it was a daily occurrence. Thank goodness for good neighbors who can hop fences in their bare feet with a gun, but don’t.
This episode of This Is the Gospel is sponsored by Bookshelf PLUS+. Bookshelf PLUS+ is my absolute go-to for audiobooks for those long summer road trips with my teenagers. They act like they're bored at first because that's what teenagers are supposed to do but it doesn't take long for them to tell me to turn it back on when we get back in the car. And here's the best news --- with Bookshelf PLUS+ we never run out of good choices. You get unlimited access to every audiobook that Deseret Book has ever released from all your favorite authors. That means that you can make your teens listen to "Charley" by Jack Weyland if the spirit moves you know really it's on there. So if you want more uplifting good stories after this episode is over try Bookshelf PLUS+ free for 30 days by visiting deseretbook.com/thisisthegospel. That's deseretbook.com/thisisthegospel. Now that we've got your summer covered let's get on with the show.
KaRyn: Welcome to This Is the Gospel, an LDS Living podcast where we feature real stories from real people who are practicing and living their faith every day. I'm your host, KaRyn Lay.
In my last semester of graduate school at BYU, I did something that surprised me. I got married. I was 34 and I'd never lived in Provo before. So I was even more shocked when with that marriage, I became a bit of a cliché. I got hitched, I became a stepmom and I got a full- time job all before finishing my thesis which was the final step to graduating.
And if you're unfamiliar with theses or theseses or thesi (not sure which one it is) it can be anywhere from 50 to 200 pages long... it's this big data research thing you have to do to graduate and the truth is... I was planning that wedding when I should have been starting my thesis. And before I knew it, my expected graduation date had come and gone and then it came and went again and again for the next three years.
I was traveling a lot for my job and I was dealing with some health issues and some family issues. So it got easier and easier to ignore that deadline that the university imposes on incomplete degrees. And apparently, if you get all the way to five years from the start of your degree without graduating, you have to start all over at the five-year mark. So, with a gentle shove from my thesis advisor and that clock just looming over me, I jumped back into graduate school life while I was working full time and traveling.
As you can imagine, I had to work on that thesis everywhere and anywhere that I was at all times. So on weekends, in the evenings after work when I was so exhausted I couldn't even think straight,
And on those tiny little trays in coach where the person in the seat in front of me is leaning their seat all the way back... I looked like a tiny little T-Rex typing on my computer just desperately trying to make sense of things.
And as the graduation deadlines got closer and closer, the less sure I started to feel that I could actually finish this thing. And if you've ever tried to graduate from BYU then you may be familiar with what happened next.
Paperwork. so. much. paperwork to graduate—hoops to jump through—forms with names like ADV form 8D that had to be signed by no less than 400 people. in person. In Provo. I was living and working in Salt Lake at the time, so one day, in between flights for my job, I realized that I was about to miss a really critical deadline and my heart just dropped. I simply could not get those signatures in time. I made a bunch of phone calls. I did everything that I knew I could in my power and ran into wall after wall. No deadlines could be extended and I really felt like there was no mercy for me at all. (laughter) But that's what I get for procrastinating, right?
So I was standing outside of my house like trying to haul in the groceries at the end of that really disappointing day when my neighbor came up to me and asked me how I was doing so of course I told her my woes and I tried to blow everything off as insignificant like, kind of, I don't care at this point-- What will be will be. But I think she could tell that I was in panic mode so she looked at me and she said, "my mom will go get those signatures for you."
"She lives in Utah County. She'd be happy to do it."
And of course I laughed that off. I met her mom once, maybe, and she didn't know me from Adam and so clearly my friend couldn't be serious... but she was. She said it again and asked me for the piece of paper that I needed signed. And in my weakened state, I didn't have the strength to appropriately protest, so I gave her the instructions and went inside to pack for my early morning flight figuring that if it didn't happen at least I'd given it a good old college try.
The next evening, I got an email from my friend's mother whose name at the time I didn't even know, so when an email came in from Peggy, I was like, "Who is Peggy?"
And then when I read it I just started to weep in my hotel room across the country with gratitude and relief. It was done. Peggy had filed Form AVD 8D and I'd be able to graduate without having to retake a single class. I was humbled that a total stranger with nothing at stake in my graduation would trek across campus hunting down professors to get signatures for a form that could probably have been signed electronically if I was a little less of a grandma about technology. I felt completely and utterly rescued and to this day feel a special love for Peggy because of her Christlike service to me and my moments of chaos and vulnerability.
Well, if you haven't already figured it out, today's episode is all about the ways that we rescue one another and are rescued as we serve God. We've got three stories from people who find themselves on either the giving or the receiving end of a rescue with surprising results. First, we'll hear from Steve, an emergency medic and fire captain who trains people across the country on rescue and emergency operations.
STEVE: There was a time, which is rare for me... so it happened one time in my almost 30-year career providing emergency medical care and emergency response where I was asked to use the priesthood that I've been given to bless someone. So I was a brand new paramedic and was assigned to a rescue unit in the downtown where we live.
I had a paramedic partner and a captain, and an engineer. We responded On a fire engine that 's how the paramedics respond where I where I work and I don't, I couldn't remember exactly the details. All of these calls kind of blend together for me.
I do recall that there was another basic life support unit there. We were called in to provide advanced life support and assist the EMTs who are already on scene and we arrived as the medic engine and I was the patient care medic on this ca
And I can't remember the exact sequence of events because we weren't the first in. I do recall stepping off the engine and it was some kind of car wreck. I don't know if it's an auto/ped -- car versus a pedestrian-- or if it was, you know, a two-vehicle accident or multi-vehicle accident. This is the interesting thing about these stories. In my mind, some of the details over several decades have disappeared but the feeling remains. So I step off, again, I step off the rig and one of the EMTs comes walking up to me with an unconscious, unresponsive little girl. She's probably, like, three years old and she clearly has trauma right?Clearly has trauma.
He basically hands her to me like, "I can't fix this. Can you?" because I'm a medic. So I pick up the child. She's not breathing... severe signs of trauma. All over her poor little body. And at this point in my life as a medic, I am like, locked in, like...
Here is the algorithm. Here's what we... here's the path we go down. Here's what we do. I compartmentalize my feelings and my emotions. It's like, all business, right? A hundred percent business.
The Ambulance shows up. We hop in the back. I put this small child on the gurney. You know, I'm starting to take vital signs, getting her patched up, putting on the cardiac monitor, right? My partner put his paperwork down. He's trying to get the airway clear and he can not get the airway clear. He's struggling and there is another EMT in the back, an ambulance technician is helping us. So we're trying to do all this kind of stuff and we're only on scene for several minutes but it's a struggle. Pretty high emotion although we're pretty locked in and suddenly the back doors of the ambulance fly open.
There's my captain trying to hold back this woman and she is clearly the mom of this child. She looks me right in the eye and she says, "Do any of you have the Priesthood?!?"
And I'm like, "I do." kind of thing. And she just says, "Give her a blessing."
And it never came to my mind as a paramedic doing that. I'm locked into these physiological things, ri
And my partner looks at me like, "what... what are you talking about?" I said, "Can you just move for a second?" So he moves off the airway. I come on to the front of the gurney and take his seat and I place my hand on this little, tiny head. I have no oil or anything and I don't even know her name, don't even know her name and I feel like I need to pronounce a blessing on her that just says, "your pain will go away. You will be comforted. We will take care of you. And those that will treat you will be guided." And then I sealed that in the name of the Savior Jesus Christ and by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood which I hold and I pull my hands off.
My partner gets back on the airway. The airway is clear.
He intubates that little girl. I start an I.V. she starts kind of thrashing around a little bit. I give a little bit of pain medication. We start treating her... her... her cardiac rhythm, which was... kids have a tendency to compensate, right
They hold, hold, hold, and then suddenly they cross that line and they crash. And she was at that crash mode. I look over the monitor and it's that nice, slow, steady, appropriate heartbeat.
And the whole... you can feel it on the back of the whole ambulance was like the strongest spirit of, "OK. I know this little girl. She is important to me. She will stay on this earth until I decide it's time and it is not time."
And so it was awesome. Even my paramedic partner and the Gold Cross technician who was not, clearly not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they could feel something and them... it was...
It wasn't quiet because we're talking a lot. Getting things done. But you could tell just the whole mood changed.
She's stabilized. We get her to the pediatric hospital. We pass the child off. My partner gives a report as we pass off to the physician. He leaves out the blessing (laughter) but he gives a report and the receiving nurse and doctor look at him like, "this report is not consistent with what we are seeing and how this little girl is presenting
We're like, "well, look at her trauma."
And they take her in and I don't really... I don't... I never really learn her name. I don't follow up. Really. That's just not one of the things I do. But I do know that she lives. And she gets reunited with that woman her mom who had enough faith, and enough courage, to fight past my captain, to yard open those doors in the back of the ambulance and look right at me and say, "Does anyone here have the priesthood?"
And I can't explain why some of the patients I treat pass and move from this life
And why some stay or why some like in that single experience I'm called upon to give a blessing to. I don't have those answers. And this the cool thing, though. I don't need those answers.
You know, my wife said, "Your work experiences really don't change you." And I think she's right. Clearly, I believe, right? I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that our Savior lives. I know that He knows us individually. I know that we are children of our Heavenly Father. I know all of those things. I know to my core, Right?
So... so... so, that really didn't change me. But it reconfirmed to me that every life upon this earth is precious to our Heavenly Father. And everyone, no matter where you are, what you do, who you are is known to Him .
Look, I've given other blessings, right? So the mission, I did all the usual stuff that all the members of the restored gospel do. But that day. I was so glad that I had the Priesthood of our Savior. And that I was worthy. And that I said the words that needed to be said.
KaRyn: That was Steve. Steve is my neighbor and friend and I've seen firsthand how he operates calmly and coolly under duress. In fact, he rescued me from a back door burglar on a snowy day one February when I was blissfully unaware that anyone was even trying to break in. But that's another story for another day. When I asked him about telling one of his work stories for the podcast he was quick to remind me that he doesn't often tell these stories. He doesn't really like the spotlight in that way so we're really grateful for his willingness to share it. After we recorded I asked him a few questions about how he feels the gospel is connected to rescue work.
STEVE: Here's the cool thing about the rescue work. It's not about me personally and that kind of stuff, you know, the hero antics and that. I don't like that at all frankly... although I DO like making decisions under duress in a time-competitive environment. I like that type of stress. What I really like about rescue, like being married, right, is its team. You are with a group of individuals... like-minded individuals that have the same skillset, the same desire, the same passion, the same energy that you have and you come together to solve this problem that someone else has.
KaRyn: How is that the same as being part of priesthood quorum.
Steve: It's exactly the same. Even being a ward... same like-minded individuals, same passion, same understanding, same overall goal. Now look, we sometimes, we're not perfect at the rescue... we make mistakes, are slow, but that's the goal. And so it's very similar to working with those young men in the priest quorum that I work with. It's a group of individuals that we want to bring together with a skill set, that we want to have the same passion... that when you are... when it's the worst day of your life... because here's where we respond, right? The worst day of your life and you don't care who comes to your door, really. You don't care if they're black or white or tall or short or big or small -- help me. Just help me solve this problem.
KaRyn: A huge part of being a rescue person is being prepared, right?
Steve: Yeah. Having skills and tools, right? skills and tools. but both those work together. That's the cool thing, right? That's the cool thing is that you can draw upon that power if you are ready worthy and able to do so because it's it's real.
KaRyn: Preparation. Teamwork. Showing up.
These are all such beautiful themes in the work of rescuing whether it's a physical rescue a spiritual one or a little of both. Our next story comes from Lindsey who learned that sometimes when we do show up to the rescue, it's not always clear who's saving whom. Here's Lindsay
Lindsey: As I was coming in and out of my neighborhood frequently, I would notice this old man sitting under the shade of a tree in his wheelchair at the nursing home that was on the corner of our neighborhood. And every time I saw him it just pulled at my heart strings and I would try to see if he was waiting for family to come and visit or if there was a nurse taking him for a walk. But he always seemed to be sitting under that tree all alone.
One day, when I was late to pick my husband up from work, I came cruising around the corner and there he was sitting under the tree in his wheelchair all by himself. My heart was beating so fast it was almost as if the car had taken control of the wheel and turned me around to pull me into this parking lot. I had no idea what I was even going to say to him. The car continued to practically drive itself as we pulled up right in front of him and I rolled down the window... and, approaching strangers is not something I am familiar or comfortable with. And as I pulled up I saw a man who had lines on his face indicating a very hard life.
He had tattoos up and down both arms and his eyes gave me this look. I couldn't put my finger on it but it was the look of someone needing to be rescued.
I opened my mouth and gave an awkward greeting saying, "I don't have any living grandpas and I would love to come and visit you sometime and get to know you." And even as I said it I could feel how clumsy the words felt. He didn't say anything in response. He had tears streaming down his face and he kept pointing up to the sky with one hand and with his other hand on his heart and he continued to not respond in any words. So I asked him how Tuesday of next week would be if I came back to visit with him. He shook his head in agreement and I pulled back on the road.
So as I pulled away I audibly say to myself, "What was that? Where did that even come from?" Oh, I'm just kind of cringing. So I go pick my husband up from work. I retell him the story and as I'm hearing it out loud, I'm kind of embarrassed that this just happened -- that I have just totally involved myself in the life of this stranger and now I've promised to go visit him. I don't even know if he wants me to or if he can even understand what I was saying. And so I don't bring it up anymore but it weighs heavy on me over the weekend and I'm kind of dreading it and feeling very anxious about it.
So Tuesday rolls around and I can still remember... I can still picture my bedroom... putting my shoes on. Getting ready to go. And my husband says, "So you're really going, huh?" And it dawned on me in that moment that I don't have to go. Maybe he doesn't even remember it. Maybe I could avoid having to be uncomfortable.
But I cannot deny that beating in my chest as my car pulled in there... I couldn't deny it.
So I called the nursing home and asked them about the old man in the wheelchair, sits under the tree and they told me his name is Joe. And he goes out there to have his smoke breaks. They said he doesn't have any family around here and that he suffered from a stroke, and he can't speak at all but that his mind is sharp, and he understands everything else just fine. They encouraged me to visit with him and to use charades if I really wanted to communicate with him, then wished me luck. I decided to see this thing through.
So I parked my car in the parking lot, and I got out and walked up towards him.
He was sitting under the tree having a smoke and in my friendliest manner possible, I introduced myself, I asked if he remembered me from the week before, and he had. And I tried to make small talk. I offered to read him a story or go inside and play a game. I was kind of picturing a Tuesdays with Morrie type of thing. But he was not interested in that.
He wanted to discuss our meeting from the week prior.
So through a series of charades and hand gestures and me asking him yes or no questions, he was able to tell me his side of the story of when we first met. And hearing it from his perspective has honestly changed me to this very day.
And that time in my life I thought I was doing pretty good by way of religion. I attended my church meetings; we had date night at the temple;
I was praying multiple times a day; I was fulfilling my calling; I really thought I was coming along in terms of progression.
But what I lacked to understand at that time in my life was that that doesn't make me special, that doesn't earn me favor with the Lord, get me better blessings.
And as Joe went on to tell me that he had been feeling so lonely, and he had been feeling forgotten, and he sat under the tree that day that I came by, he sat under that tree and asked God, "Have you forgotten me?" And just then my car came whipping around that corner, and his heart started beating fast, and he felt warmth all throughout his body, and he followed me the entire time with his eyes to where I pulled up in front of him.
And I rolled down the window and I was there for him, and he knew in that moment that God had not forgotten him. Do you remember when he had his hand on his heart? He wasn't pointing to the sky, he was pointing to the heavens, he was pointing up to God and that look, that look that I thought I saw in his eyes of someone that was lost, I was totally wrong. I saw a man who had just been rescued by the Lord.
There was an overwhelming confirmation to me that this man in front of me is loved, valued, and remembered. And I could feel this love emanating from him as we made the rest of our way through communicating. I cried the whole way home because I was realizing in that moment, for the first time, that it didn't matter if my house was spotless or if I had lost my baby weight or how much money was in our bank account that I am loved, the same as this man Joe is loved. I have also found myself feeling forgotten or unworthy and what I love the very most is the love that has poured down upon me when I am in those moments. It's that same as I felt for Joe that day. We are not earning our place with God. We are not trying to earn his love.
We already have it. I thought this day was going to be about me serving Joe, but, instead, he's the one who touched my life and opened my eyes to infinite love God has for all of us, no matter who we are or what our circumstances, we are all, every one of us, deeply loved beyond measure.
KaRyn: That was Lindsey. Isn't it interesting that when we follow the spirit, God can use the intent of our heart to make magical things happen for both us and the people we serve? I'm kind of charmed by the fact that Joe wasn't really interested in having a new buddy to play checkers with. Lindsey and Joe were brought together for a moment in time and that was that. And, actually, that seems to be as common a story as the ones where both people become best friends, soulmates for the rest of their lives.
However the connection plays out, it's clear to me that the goal of heaven in those instances is to magnify the power of a God who gives us what we need, when we need it.
Our final story today comes to us all the way from Australia. When Baron's world shifted into unfamiliar territory with his wife Davina's sudden illness, he learned that it can take as much courage to accept a rescue as it does to run to the aid of others.
Baron: when I think back on it, life was pretty good for us. I had a secure a job, four beautiful kids, living in a little house with a picket fence. I felt like everything was pretty much perfect. And then at that point that's when things started to change just a little bit. I got made redundant from my job. That was okay, though, because I felt like it was time for me to move on from the job that I was in, and we started a business. So it was very different to what I was doing in the corporate job that I had before, but I decided that I wanted to buy a gym, so we went out and bought a fitness center. It was really tough trying to juggle the four kids, the classes that I needed to run in the gym as well as try to make sales in the gym. That was pretty tough. And it's almost like we would sign a member up and then lose someone across the road. And so I felt pressure probably like I'd never felt before in my life, and it started to sort of pile on and there was just less money coming in and so things become pretty tight. We were, you know, kicking along with our four beautiful kids and then we decided that maybe there's another one waiting to come down to our family and so we had another baby and so it became even more pressure. And I felt like as things started to get more tough at work from a financial perspective, my spirituality started to struggle. Because I felt like I would ask Heavenly Father for things, and they wouldn't happen and so sometimes I'd stop asking. And I felt myself, I guess, moving away from God just a little bit, just gently, and it made me grumpy and a little bit cynical and thinking that life's just a bit tough, and why did it have to be so tough? I remember I went to work as normal, I'd run in an early morning class, and I came back home.
And Davin jumped out of bed and went to the shower, and she called out to me, and she said, "Baron, I don't feel very good." So I walked into the bathroom, and she was in the shower, white as a ghost, and I jumped in, and she grabbed my shoulders and right at that point, she just looked up at me and just collapsed. I was completely unconscious, so I grabbed her in the best way that I could to, I guess, ease her down to the ground. But I laid her down on the ground, and she was unconscious and had no idea what was going on. It kind of seemed like an eternity, like it just seemed like forever that she was asleep, but when she woke up, she just woke up with this stare in her eyes, like burst open, and she just stared at me with a sort of fear in her eyes and I just tried to assure that she was going to be okay, but I didn't really know, and I certainly didn't know what was to come. I called my eldest son in, Banias, 10 at the time, and I said, "Just sit with your mum for a sec, mate, so I can sort out the ambulance" And he just laid there with his mom and stroked her arm and through his tears said, "You're going gonna be okay, Mom."
So in the next few weeks, Davina got really sick. Her speech was really challenged. She started to have seizures, particularly at night, where she would shake violently and not be able to control her body. There was a whole heap of things that started to go wrong and that happened just in the next few weeks after she collapsed.
So we started on this journey of doctor after doctor to try to figure out what was going on, and no one could give us an answer that would help. They all just sort of said, "Well, we don't really know." And I remember we saw one neurologist, and he said, "Look, Davina, you've got many symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease and motor neuron disease and M.S. But, I'm sorry, I can't fit you into a box and so I can't help you." And so we were left sort of a bit lost, not really sure what to do.
I really went into that sort of fix it mode at that point I thought, "Alright, my wife's sick, and our business is struggling. Don't worry about the business for a minute. Let's just go in and get Davina better." So I started researching and trying to find anything that I possibly could to find what was wrong with her. And we saw a TV show that was about Lyme disease. We'd never heard of this before, but the symptoms were uncanny, they were so much like Davina's symptoms. And so at that point I made some contact with an association in Australia; they led me in the direction to some doctors that could help us out, and she was diagnosed with Lyme disease not long after that. Lyme disease in Australia is not treated well at all. It's not recognized as a disease and so we were seeing this doctor sort of under cloak and dagger, it was like we had to hide almost. But he gave us some prescription for antibiotics, but they are extremely expensive because the disease is not recognized here. It was going to cost us 1500 dollars every three weeks. I just went, "How are we going to pay for that?" Like, we did not have the money to do that at all. And the praying was continuing, you know, I would continue to pray to Heavenly Father, but my prayers had changed to pretty desperate, saying, "Heavenly Father, why aren't you there?
And why don't you listen? And why don't you and come help?" And so I'd become pretty frustrated and felt pretty alone at that point because I saw my wife in my eyes was dying, and I could do nothing to help her.
She started to lose her ability to speak and swallow food and seizures became more apparent and more often and nothing was getting her better, and the medication made her worse.
And so I felt like I was being left alone, and I kind of felt frustrated at God because I would say to him, "I've done plenty, like, I've been good. I've tried my best to do the right things, and I felt like he wasn't there. At that point in time, that was tough. I tried to avoid asking for help because I felt it was my job. This wasn't anybody else's problem, this was my problem. And so for a long time, what seemed like a long time, I didn't ask anybody and so I was just trying to juggle it, and then, funnily enough, somebody found out at church, our Relief Society president found out at church, and she announced that in Relief Society that Davine was sick. Davine had become missing in action at church, and everywhere else, because she had almost become bed-bound, she couldn't do much at that point in time. And when it was announced at church, I remember I had an experience with a good friend of mine Lisa.
I was walking down the corridor at church, and they just told them in relief society, and Lisa grabbed me, and she said, "Hey, I just heard about Davina; what's going on?" And I just sort of brushed it off, and I said, "No, she's gonna be okay." And she looked at me, and she said, "Are you okay?" And for the first time, I told someone that I wasn't. I said, "No, I'm not okay. I'm a bit busted." I just expressed to her my challenge and my feeling. And she said to me, "Baron, you know what, we are here, whatever you need, we are here." I said, "Well, I'll be okay." In typical style, I said, "I'll be okay, don't worry." The next day, I realized that I couldn't do it all, so I called Lisa, because she was the one person that knew, outside of my family, that knew a little bit. And I said, "Hey, Lisa, could you help me out?" And she goes, "Whatever you need." And I said, "Could you just make a meal for us, please? And could you just come and sit with Davina?" And in a heartbeat, she said, "I'm there." And so she came over and made a meal and sat with Davina for the evening, and that started it for us.
That started the help. I remember we had someone coming and watching Davina at home and taking care of her during the day. Every day we'd have someone be there because at that point in time Davina could no longer carry our baby, our little Olivia, and we couldn't organize meals and stuff every day, so we had people providing us with meals; we had cleaning; people were taking care of our kids, so they were taken to school and bringing them home from school. It was like this army came to help us and save us. At that point I probably still didn't see the Lord's hand in any of it. I was so fixated on I had to get my wife better. That was all I could see, and I would continually ask Heavenly Father and say, "Hey, I keep asking, but you're not listening." I wasn't paying attention to the other stuff that was happening, I just was like: "This is what I want; this is what I need.
Why don't you just make her better?" And as she wasn't getting better and, in fact, she was getting worse from medication she was taking. We searched for a variety of different other treatment options, and we heard about some treatment in Germany, but that treatment was 35000 dollars, and we certainly didn't have that sort of money at that point in time. And I remember my brothers came over one night, my six younger brothers came, and I said, "I just wish I never did this. Or I wish I never bought the gym. I wish I never did this.
I wish I never did that." And my younger brother provided some wisdom that I couldn't. And he said, "Just stop, Baron, if you still were working in the city in your old job, would you have been here when Davina collapsed
Would you have caught her before she hit the deck? And I said, "No." And he said, "And if you were working for someone else still, could you've been here every day that she's been sick, the way that you have? And I was like, "No." He said, "Well, maybe you should focus on that, because if you lose your business and your home and everything was it not all worth it.
And I think that was the start of it for me, to see, "Hang on, God is there. And he listens, but he might not answer us in the way that we think, or the way that we want. But maybe that's not what we need. On that same night, another brother, he said, "What are you going to do?" And I said, "Well, we got this trip to Germany." And he said, "Well, go to Germany, that's what you should do. And I said, "I can't. I don't have 35000 dollars." And he said, "Look, we'll fundraise." And I said, "No, I'm not comfortable with that."
And he looked at me like I was an idiot.
And he said, "Baron, I don't give a stuff what you think." He said, "We love Davina, and we want her to get better as well. It's not just about you, and so we're doing it." And so Adam went with a few other people, some unbelievable friends, and they set up a fundraising committee. And over the next six weeks, they raised over $50,000 for Davina's treatment, so we could go to Germany. And it was one of the most humbling experiences. There was Go Fund Me pages and Facebook pages, and we had a big fundraising night as well. And the amount of people that donated on that night blew our minds, and it was the most humbling experience. I remember one night there was a group of young ladies from our ward that came to sing us carols because it was right near Christmas. They came into our home and sang us some carols. Then as they left, they handed me a bag, and I opened it and there was $1,100. And they said we've just been at the shopping center, just raising money for Davina.
We've been seeing down there for a couple of hours, and they gave us that money. I think my hardened exterior started to crack a little. Davina is doing so much better now. She's still with us, and we're so grateful for that, and when we think our Heavenly Father is not listening because he doesn't answer the way that we wanted, I started to learn slowly that he was answering as the Lord put in our path angels in the form of our friends that literally came to our rescue.
KaRyn: That was Baron. Both his story and Lindsey's came to us from the pitch line, and we're so glad they had the courage to make that phone call. What a beautiful testimony of the power of Deliverance when we're willing to accept it in whatever form it takes. It reminds me of that old dad joke. You know, the one your great uncle shares at Thanksgiving that makes you cringe just a little. Let me see if I can do it right. We have some pretty good dad joke telling genes in my family.
There was a man who fell into the ocean, and he couldn't swim. And when a boat came by the captain yelled, "Do you need help, sir?" And the man calmly said, "No, God will save me." a little later another boat came by and a fisherman asked, "Hey, do you need help?" The man waved him off and replied again, "No. God will save me."
Eventually, the man drowned and went to heaven and when he saw God he went up to him and he said, "Hey, why didn't you save me?"
And God replied, "Fool. I sent you two boats!" Cue laughter right here.
The point of that story is that our own expectations can often put us at odds with the help the God is already sending. That joke and Baron's story are good reminders that it's our job to open our eyes as much as possible and look around us with open hearts while we're praying and hoping and seeking for salvation. It's possible that the salvation is there. It just looks a little different than what we're expecting, and when we're finally the one up on the deck of our rescue boat for a spell because that happens for all of us, it's our privilege to keep our eyes open still as we scan the water for those who might currently be drowning.
I think there's one more thing that we can gather from the stories in this episode and that is this gentle and ever-present reminder that real salvation and rescue ultimately only come from the one who is mighty to save. What that looks like in our physical and spiritual lives will be different from person to person, but the source is always the same.
Steve understood that when he used the priesthood to heal that little girl, and Lindsay understood that when she realized that Joe didn't need her to rescue him because he'd already been rescued by his Savior, and Baron saw it in the Christlike service that brought the needed funds for his wife's health care. Now this is important: That doesn't excuse us from the work of rescue because as disciples of Jesus Christ it is our covenant responsibility to find our sisters and brothers where they are. But it does offer us the gift of peace as we do that work because that knowledge helps us to place our hope and our trust and our efforts in the right strong arms as we lift one another.
That's it for this episode of This is the Gospel. Thank you to Steve, Lindsey, and Baron for sharing their stories and their faith. We'll have the transcript for this episode as well as the story of Steve saving me from the backdoor burglar in our show notes at ldsliving.com/thisisthegospel.
Two of the three stories from this episode came from our pitch line, so it works. We even have a bonus episode that will give you top tips on how to pitch your story so check out that episode and the list. It's called How to become one of our storytellers. We listen to every story pitch that you leave and if your story works for one of the upcoming episodes, we may give you a call, so call us at (515) 519-6179 and leave us a message with a short synopsis of your story. And don't forget to share your experience with this podcast. Please take the time to leave us a review on the Apple podcast app or on the Bookshelf PLUS+ app from Deseret Book. Those things help other people to find this great podcast.
This episode was produced by me, KaRyn Lay, and Sarah Blake with story editing by Davi Johnson. It was scored, mixed, and mastered by mics at six studios; our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. You can find past episodes of this podcast and other LDS living podcasts at ldsliving.com/podcasts. See you soon.