Friday, October 21, 2016
"Hope for Bill"
Bill Higgs played soccer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. During a particularly tough game, Bill leaped for a head shot. Somehow, through a collision, he drove his elbow through his spleen. At the time, he did not know it. He simply knew that he was in great pain. He finished the remainder of the ball game by sheer determination.
As he left the playing field at West Point, he had six hundred feet to climb up to dormitory. He felt bad. In fact, the steps became prohibitive for him. He knelt alone and prayed for strength. Finally, he made it up to the barracks. Somebody got him over to the hospital. He was too weak to make it on his own.
A surgeon happened to be checking on some rugby players in the hospital at West Point. He immediately diagnosed Bill’s condition and declared him critical. They desperately needed blood. They literally went out to the streets of West Point and pleaded with people for AB+ blood to provide a transfusion. They operated to remove his spleen.
At 2 a.m., an orderly walked in to visit with Bill. He found him in fetal position. The orderly recognized the gravity of his condition. He said, “Bill, are you a Christian?” Bill mumbled, “Yes.” He asked, “Bill, do you know John 3:16?” Hesitantly, Bill repeated with him that much loved verse of Scripture. He patted him on the shoulder as to bid farewell.
At 6:30 a.m. the same morning, the soccer coach somehow slipped behind the barriers and visited at Bill’s bedside. He tapped Bill on the shoulder and said, “Billy, they say you are going to be able to play soccer next year.”
That was just the word that Bill needed to hear. It gave him hope. It changed his attitude. The attitude of the coach was contagious for Bill. The good news is that Bill lived to tell the tale, he did play soccer that next year for West Point.