By Terri B
Elliot has autism, is seven years old, and is very strong and curious. He has been known to find his way into unlocked back doors and explore the homes of unsuspecting neighbors. He is quite the escape artist and doesn’t have a sense of danger. Molly, my sister, prays every day for God to protect her son and help her keep him alive.
The up-high lock on the basement sliding glass door that kept Elliot inside, broke and was waiting a replacement. Usually it was almost impossible for Elliot to let himself out, but one day he managed to go down into the basement unnoticed by the baby sitter. With no secure lock on the door, he let himself out. The yard backs up to a golf course with a pond; Elliot loves water so he headed straight for that pond.
At this time, a stranger named Drew was out on the golf course with a friend. He was about to swing his golf club when he heard a strange croaking sound. He paused for a moment, thinking it was the strangest frog sound he had ever heard! But he went back to his club. Again he heard the strange croak. This time he decided he had to investigate.
As he approached the pond, he saw a boy’s head pop out of the water, gasp for air, and then sink back under. Immediately, he ran into the pond and reached for Elliot, who was struggling and sinking deeper. He yanked Elliot’s feet free, threw him over his shoulder, and with the help of his friend they reached the safety of the fairway. Drew lay Elliot on the ground, where he immediately started throwing up water. Drew talked to Elliot but he wouldn’t respond, causing Drew to worry. A neighbor soon came out and explained Elliot was autistic, and she would take him home.
Molly returned home later and heard some golfers had pulled Elliot from the pond. She wanted to thank the men who had saved her son’s life, so she called the golf clubhouse and was able to track down some contact information. When she finally succeeded in reaching Drew, his response to her thanks was, “I don’t want any recognition; this experience has changed my life!” It was then Drew admitted he hadn’t truly believed in God. He wasn’t sure if God even existed.
Drew went on to explain that it had been a cloudy day and though he didn’t really want to go golfing, he had dragged himself out to the course. The golf course employee had started him on the ninth tee, which was unusual. If he had started on the first tee, like he normally did, then he wouldn’t have been near Elliot when he started to drown. Drew was now sure God had put him on the golf course that day, at just the right tee, and at just the right moment so he could save Elliot’s life.
This experience convinced Drew that God is truly real. Molly reassured him that she knows this to be true and that God is aware of each of us. She was certain God had placed him there at that very moment to save her son’s life. She knew her many prayers had been heard and God kept her son alive.
Drew may have saved Elliot’s life that evening, but God let Elliot save Drew’s life too.