Friday, May 21, 2010

Taylor Hubbard: saved by the Holy Spirit

Memoral service for GW student, Taylor Hubbard, tonight, 7 pm, Patuxent Presbyterian Church, California, Maryland. Please pray for Taylor and the Hubbard family.
Last Saturday morning, GW President Knapp made an announcement at the Interfaith Baccalaureate service that a GW student had fallen from a building on campus the night before and was seriously injured. After the service I received a call from the university saying that the family is asking for a chaplain. Taylor was dying. I immediately went to GW hospital not knowing what to expect or what I would be able to do.

I met the family as well as some representatives from the university, including President Knapp. I was trying to get my thoughts together on what I could do for the family and their son, Taylor Hubbard. As a priest, things happen quickly when you walk into a tragic situation like this. We rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the right words to say and the right course of action to take. The following comes from the Holy Spirit, I believe.

I went into a room with the family to discuss Taylor's situation. The parents made it clear almost immediately that Taylor had not been baptized. They both expressed tremendous regret about this, but explained that it was because they wanted their children to choose their own faith. When I offered to baptize him at the hospital, they quickly made their desire known: they wanted him baptized.

We went up a few floors to see Taylor. He was incoherent and in very bad shape. Almost his whole body was covered with bandages and braces. I greeted him and explained that I was going to baptize him because his parents had asked for it. I sprinkled some water on his head while saying, "Taylor, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". I said a few other prayers and anointed him. Two things occurred at the same time: 1) a Protestant chaplain came into the room and prayed with us, and 2) Taylor's heartbeat increased. It seems that he knew what was going on.

I went back downstairs with the family and visited with them for a while. Amid their overwhelming sadness, they were filled with happiness that their son had just received the gift of salvation. I told them that that is the greatest gift they could ever give Taylor. They had saved him! Through the saving, life-giving waters of Christian baptism that they requested, Taylor received the gift of God's Grace. The Trinity came to dwell in him and his sins were wiped clean. He had received the gift of eternal life and was now ready to enter it forever.

Taylor died a few hours later. The magnitude of sadness is beyond words. He was a good young man with a bright future. As I told the family, God is sadder than anybody at what has happened. He hates death. "Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator" (CCC #1008). But, God brought something incredibly good out of something so incredibly bad. He saved his soul! We believe that Taylor now lives in God's Kingdom where there is no sadness or pain. We believe he is loving life with all the angels and saints. Thanks to the Holy Spirit and through my words and hands, Taylor will live forever!

1 comment:

Marissa Moran said...

wow. huge wow and thanks be to God.