At the Aurora movie theatre on the night of the Batman movie premiere where the horrific shootings took place, 17-year-old Stephanie Rodriguez’s brother had talked her into going with him and his friends.
As the shootings began, Stephanie prayed: “Dear God, please help us. Let all of us get out.” When the gunman briefly stopped, she rushed toward the exit.
“For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God? —the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe.” —Psalm 18:31-33
As she made it safely outside, Stephanie saw Carey Rottman lying on the pavement, screaming, “My leg! Help me!” as others were rushing past him.
She knelt down and pushed her hands on his thigh, trying to stop the blood like she had seen doctors do on television. She took
off her new belt and tied it around his leg.
Then Stephanie held his leg, while her brother and two strangers dragged him to a grassy spot, safe from the fleeing cars.
Through it all, she was calm, even with a stranger’s blood covering her hands and clothing.
“She had the strength of 10,000 men,” said Todd Peckham, who was also helping victims. “She didn’t flinch when she put pressure on a gunshot wound with her bare hands.”
“It was adrenaline,” Stephanie said. “My first reaction was to help him.”
The next day, Stephanie walked into the man’s hospital room and when his mother asked how old she was—“I told his mom I just turned 17 and she just burst into tears.”
They say character is proven when no one is looking, but in Stephanie’s case, it was when someone was in trouble. Thank God for the Stephanies of the world.
HEAVENLY FATHER, while the world runs past all kinds of hurting people every day, help me to see and hear them, and like Stephanie, to stop and do something about it.