Benjamin Franklin said, “Haste makes waste.” “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”
Haste makes waste; it is also close friends with injury. I had a dentist’s appointment at noon once, and I had a project out by the garage. I just felt I had to get it done right now, so I started in a big hurry. The idea was to cut a piece of roofing metal. It was about 8 feet long. I had to use a saber saw with a metal blade to cut a hole to fit into a particular place where I wanted this roofing metal to get installed. Everything was measured twice.
I got the roofing metal, but my workshop table was too small to work on it. I took it outside and threw it on the ground. The grass was still wet from heavy dew. I was never thinking about the possibility of something going wrong with an electric saw on damp grass. The work area was right out in our backyard near the kitchen window. We were living out in the country at that time. I got the metal where I wanted it, grabbed the old trusty saber saw, and got down on my hands and knees, ready to cut the metal. When I tried to plug that extension cord into the saw, the electricity grabbed onto my hand from the end of the extension cord. It never did get plugged into the saw. I fell over on my right side, and the extension cord jumped around like a big snake biting into my right hand.
I was lying there in full view of the kitchen window. It was about 1100. I just knew my wife wouldn’t be looking out the kitchen window. She was in the dining room watching The Young and the Restless. How can so many things run through a person’s mind instantly is a mystery for someone to figure out. I had a fast-playing video of many bad things I had done in my life, showing at a blurring speed. I tried to YELL for help. No sound came out of my mouth. Electricity was still going through me, into my hand, arm, and right shoulder into the wet ground. I was in an absolute panic; I felt sure that it was the end. Suddenly, it was like a little voice calmed me down.
It was as if this voice came to me and said, “Hey, Dummy, pull the extension cord out of the garage wall.” I’m not sure if it was the Lord talking to me, it just doesn’t seem he would have called me a ‘dummy’. Maybe that day, he would’ve. I somehow reached behind me with my left arm, got a hold of the cord, and pulled as hard as possible. That extension cord came out of the garage plugin. It finally let go of that terrible bite in the palm of my hand. The unique part, I was lying there looking up at the sky, thinking, “I’m still alive!” Seconds before, I was sure that would be the end of me, lying in the backyard while my wife watched television. I managed to get up and staggered into the house. My wife didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. I sat down in my chair and tried to relax. The pain in my right hand was awful, and my shoulder was throbbing like crazy. I told her we were supposed to be at the dentist’s office in about an hour. She said, “That’s right. We better get in gear.” I asked her to do something with my hand, and she had an old-fashioned conniption when I told her what had happened.
When we got to the dentist’s office, my wife, who would tell all, immediately told the dentist about my electrocution before leaving the house. He was just getting started working on my teeth. He asked his assistant to bring in his blood pressure equipment and took my blood pressure. Then he said, “Let us just forget about your teeth for today; you better maybe go see a doctor.” So we drove 80 miles to Sioux Falls to the Veterans Hospital. I checked into the emergency room, and they told me to take a seat. We sat there for over an hour. My wife finally went and talked to someone and tried to explain to them that I had got electrocuted and that maybe they should take a look at me.
The first doctor got me in the examining room, and I tried to tell him what had happened. He said, “Your shoulder muscles are all still firing like you’re hooked on to the electricity yet. He got a couple of other doctors and interns to come to the show and tell. They looked at my burned hand and looked at my shoulder, and commented, this is quite a day. We usually don’t get to talk to the ones that get electrocuted. The right shoulder muscles were all twitching and jumping, trying to go in every direction possible. That went on for many hours. The pain was beyond uncomfortable.
An aunt of mine stopped to visit a couple of days later. She told me she thought I should quit using up my nine lines because I would soon be running out at the pace I had been using them for the last 40 years.
Do we wonder why things happen the way they do? We feel that, indeed, someone is looking out for us. I know an Angel was there for me that day. I have been calling on the Lord a lot in these Golden Years. Hope he doesn’t say, “Don’t call me; I’ll call you one of these days.”