- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
During my Catholic education, I had heard plenty of stories like that. Small miracles, the nuns used to call them. Pray to God, we were taught, and He'll get you out of any situation. I stared up at the cloudless sky, felt the scalding sun. I reached into my pocket and grasped the wooden cross Al Lison, an old friend, had given me. These were my thoughts:
"Dear Lord, get me out of here, if You can. I'd like to say that if You get me out of here alive and O.K. I'll dedicate my life to You and become a priest. I can't do that, because I know that's not what I'll do. I'm not going to be two-faced about it. I don't want to promise something now, and then change my mind later when things are going good. I don't want to come to You with a tight-situation prayer, if I can't be honest.
"What I will do is this: I'll give You my life, to do with whatever You will. Here it is. I'm not going to complain if things go wrong. If things go good, I'll share my success with everybody around me. Here it is. Whatever You want to do, wherever You want to direct me, that's fine. This is the best I can do."
That's all I said at the time. Later, after it all worked out, I began to reflect. Why does man put himself in such a position of dependency? Why does he turn to God at moments like that and say, "Please take care of me, because I can't take care of myself"? Why? Maybe that's the kind of animal God has created. That might be the most conclusive proof I know for the existence of a Supreme Being. Perhaps if I hadn't spoken to God behind the hedgerow, things would have worked out the same. But one matter is for certain: when my self-preservation instinct came to the fore, I said the most fervent prayer of my life.
It was answered within five minutes. Doc had joined Dave behind his rock. He called across the 15 yards to me, "Rock, you and I are getting out of here."
Just as Doc took his first step toward me, I heard him scream, "Owwwwww!" I looked back to see him doubled up with his hands at his waist. I thought he'd been hit in the stomach.
"You O.K.? You O.K.?" I yelled.
"Yeah, I got shot in the hand," he said. A bullet had torn open his thumb.
He scurried from the rock and flung himself toward me. I took a gauze pad from his pack and bandaged his thumb.
"Let's get out of here," he said.