Pool Party, Prayer, Praise

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

It was the best pool party I ever attended. It was a party for children and their parents to celebrate the miraculous event in 5-year-old Lily Murphy’s life.

Three weeks ago today she was attending a birthday party with many of her friends and adults. The kids were swimming and all of a sudden one of the kids cried out “Lily is at the bottom of the pool.” An adult dove in and brought her to poolside. A doctor and a former flight attendant performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

Lily was taken to Baptist South and then immediately flown by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. She was on life support for several days.

I talked with the doctor and the adults present. After a few minutes of CPR, there was no response. The doctor commented that he believed in his profession, but it would take a miracle from God to save her life. He also had the great concern that if she lived, she would have severe brain damage.

Thousands and thousands of people prayed. Lily’s mother and daddy are a Sunday School teachers at Frazer. They also placed a request on Facebook and had thousands of e-mails indicating that people were praying.

The miracle happened! Lily woke up and came home from the hospital a couple of days later. Four doctors at UAB said they gave their best medical attention, but it had to be the hand of God who brought the healing.

The pool party was to bring all the kids and the family back together. My wife, Lynn, suggested this, and the host family agreed. We could gather and have a prayer of thanksgiving. It would also be an opportunity for the parents and kids to go home from the experience with a different perspective on life. Three weeks ago today they had gone home in despair, concern, fear – and a thousand other emotions. This time they went home with a big smile on their face and the knowledge that they had seen a miracle.

At the second pool party Lily was the leader of all of the kids in the games they were playing. She was quick, active – very, very much alive!

When we all joined hands around the pool to pray, Lily’s older brother, Sean, a 7-year-old, interrupted me and said, “Excuse me. I want to give a praise. My sister is alive!” That captured the spirit of the event.

I felt both excited and inadequate leading the group in a prayer. Everybody present had experienced something that few people ever get to experience in life. God is doing miracles every day; I just pray that I might be more aware and more appreciative.

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