Gratitude Attacks

Reg quickly stepped backward and into the opening that was to become the chimney.

Dick Duerksen
Gratitude Attacks
Metal base of reinforced concrete walls. Part of the structure of the building of reinforced concrete.

“Reg Maas works on a small worldwide team of engineers who are developing miracle ceramic surfaces, removing layers of several dozens of atoms at a time. That’s the way he approaches everything. Carefully. With precision. Yet with an intense kindness. He is truly a man without guile. A man who walks with God. I don’t think I know a more beautiful soul.” 

—Pastor Tim Mayne, Reg’s pastor 

Reg and his brother, Randy, are the original let’s-do-it-ourselves kind of people, and Randy had decided to build a new house—a house with three levels away from the big cities—in Peck, Idaho, United States. Knowing his brother would be good help, he called Reg and asked him to come and help. 

“No problem, brother; let’s make it a family reunion!” 

Reg packed his tools and drove the 400 miles (645 kilometers) to Peck. Looking around the new house, he saw that construction included a strong, safe, fireproof chimney that would be six feet (two meters) on each side and would go from the basement right on up through all three levels of the new house.

“There was a double row of concrete blocks in the basement, set in concrete with steel rebars running up through them to make sure the chimney would be straight and solid,” Reg describes the construction. “It was a good start!” 

The weekend was packed with family, great food, and lots of conversation about God. Even one of the non-believing relatives jumped in, and the weekend quickly became a spiritual feast. 


Sunday afternoon Reg was working on the soffits at the edge of the upper family room wall when he noticed a nest of hornets at the soffit edge. He grabbed a can of wasp spray and climbed up to take care of the enemy. Once there, he discovered there were a whole lot more hornets than he had expected, and they were angry. 

As he pushed the spray button, a swirling ball of black hornets flew toward him. Reg quickly stepped backward and into the opening that was to become the chimney. Twenty-seven feet (eight meters) from the attic hornets to the basement blocks. 

“He fell cleanly through the top level of the house,” says one of his friends. “Then his shoulder hit the middle floor, sending him spinning onto the rebar and blocks in the basement below.” Reg landed flat on his back, and skewered himself with the tall steel rebars. 

The first rebar came right up into his arm to his wrist. The second rebar struck beside his spine and punctured up through and out of his chest. 

“I was lying there, my white T-shirt covered with bright-red blood, and my first thought was Wow, this doesn’t look good.” 

Reg’s brother, Randy, is an emergency medical technician, and was working on the construction scaffolds. He heard Reg yell, but had no idea what had happened or why his brother was yelling. Everyone ran upstairs, but Reg was nowhere to be found. Then someone shouted from the basement. 

“Randy! Reg is down here in the basement! He’s skewered! Hurry!” 

Randy ran to the basement—and stopped short. His brother was lying on the cement blocks with about two feet of rebar sticking up out of his chest! 

Emergency response training says you must leave the rebar where it is and get Reg to a hospital immediately. But Randy couldn’t follow his training, because there was no way to lift Reg high enough off the cement blocks to cut him free from the rebar. 


Randy felt a strong impression to go against his training. To save his brother’s life, he needed to crawl down on his stomach beneath Reg, and then carefully lift him two feet up and off the rebars. Randy thought that that probably wouldn’t work, but he followed the impression, got down on the floor, and began pressing Reg up and up and up. 

All this time Reg was trying not to breathe, for fear he would bleed out from the exertion. 

Moments later Reg was free of the rebars, standing in the arms of Randy and a nephew. He walked a couple steps and said, “I don’t feel very well.” 

The emergency responders were ready with a rescue helicopter that could fly Reg to the area’s very best trauma center, but an ambulance was already on its way from a small hospital nearby. They settled for the ambulance, and Reg was soon on the way to the emergency room. He was not expected to live. 

“I was at home in Oregon, more than 400 miles [645 kilometers] from Reg, when the phone rang,” says Pastor Mayne. ‘Please come and help us. Reg is dying. He needs you. Hurry!’ I hurried, driving all night, hoping to see my friend before he died.” 

Both of the doctors who had been assigned to Reg were nonbelievers. They came out of the operating room shaking their heads in awe. 

One of the doctors met Pastor Mayne in the hospital lobby. “I do not believe in God,” the doctor said, “but God saved that man!” 

“Look at this CAT scan,” one of the doctors told Reg. “The rebar that went into your arm missed all the major blood vessels. All it left was a scar. However, the bigger miracle is what happened with the second rebar. It sliced in right beside your spine, touched the edge of your heart, and twisted around your liver, stomach, kidneys, and lungs, and then exploded out your chest without doing any major damage. This rebar did not travel in a straight line. What it did is not possible.” 

“I expected to bleed out hanging on the rebar in the basement,” Reg remembers. “Then I realized Someone else was taking care of this. I’ve never had that kind of peace any other time in my life.” 

A week later Reg Maas walked out of the hospital to the amazed cheers of relatives, friends, caregivers, and Pastor Mayne. 

“I came expecting to perform a funeral,” says Pastor Mayne. “Instead, I shared in a miracle celebration!” 

“I got two things from my miracle,” says Reg. “A couple scars, and regular gratitude attacks. I would rather fall down a chimney with God than walk down a sidewalk without Him.”

Dick Duerksen