Friday, March 23, 2007


I received another email yesterday. Two, actually. And a third today. All about a guy just about my age. Another friend who is "more acquaintance than deep friend"; but I have felt privileged to know him and to have had him even call me up on occasion to suggest we might spend some time together.

Here. If I quote from the emails, you might catch a bit of the impact of what I read.

Email #1:
Steve Hawthorne had a heart attack last night. Praise God that he came out of surgery and there was no damage to his heart. Continue to pray for his recovery.
--Steve is one of the prime editors of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course, founder and president of WayMakers, and one of the most dynamic speakers I have ever listened to.

Email #2:
Steve Hawthorne had a heart attack while working out at the gym with his daughter Sarah last night (Wed 3/21). He told Sarah that he did not feel well and that his arm hurt, she told the desk to call 911 because her father was having a heart attack. Steve passed out and fell on his chin, but Sarah was right there to help him. The EMTs rushed him to the nearest hospital and within a few hours they had cleared the blockage and inserted a stint.

The good news is that his heart movement and blood work showed very little sign of damage to his heart. He is in ICU. He had called and left a message for me only a few hours after coming out of surgery and may be released to go home as early as tomorrow.

Steve is as passionate as anyone I know about glorifying Christ "in this body." So when he was going under because of the anesthesia, it was not surprising that the last message to his family was - "Philippians 1:21"

Philippians 1:20-26, NIV.

Steve is one of my best friends and a great mentor in my life. So I along with his family and multitudes of other people can rejoice that Steve remains in his body and that his fruitful labor will continue. (After a time of recovery of course.) Today there could be great sorrow, instead because the quick action taken by Sarah and the expertise of others, we can rejoice in Christ Jesus that Steve will continue with us "for our progress and joy in the faith" for some time to come.

Bruce Koch
And then Email #3:
I found out from Barb (Steve's wife) this morning that the type of heart attack Steve had (the largest artery on the heart and 100% blockage) is colloquially referred to as a "widowmaker" by doctors because there is only a 2% survival rate. Most are gone before arriving at the hospital. Barb said it was a miracle. It was a very close call. While none of the muscles are dead, they will not know how much they were weakened by the loss of oxygen for weeks to come.

Everyone in Steve's family slept last night, but they sound exhausted by the trauma. I talked to Sarah as well (It was her quick action that saved his life). Barb said Steve had been complaining about not being able to think clearly the last few weeks. So this would explain that. She also said his color already looks better than it has in a while.

Steve does have a small fever and is on antibiotics, so they are watching that closely today. He is still in ICU and they have not gotten him up to walk yet. They may move him to a regular room today and possibly release him as early as tomorrow.

Bruce Koch
World magazine prefaces its obituaries with the phrase, "Man knows not his time."

I am reminded once more: "I know not my time." . . . But I feel my mortality. May I live my life purposefully . . . as if each moment might be my last!
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