Tag Archives: Automobile accident

The peace that passes understanding…

This week has been one of the roughest from the standpoint of ministry I’ve experienced in a long time…

Two beloved members of our extended church family were called home…. One as a consequence of beautiful old age, the other because of a senseless mistake on a roadway on the part of another driver.  People were not only killed others were injured…  and one of our most beloved young men was missing for the greater part of a week…

Yet, a sense of peace filled the service tonight as Pastor tied up the frayed ends….. it was Pastors grandmother who died of old age… This was one precious woman very, very like my mother in faith and life.  My mother left to be with the Lord two years ago.   How can a Christian find peace in the death of a loved one.  You can when the loved one dies in the hands of Jesus Christ. 

The night before my mother died, she was fighting… she seemed to be struggling in agony… she could not stop moving… could not stop looking around her bed for what turned out to be me… my heart was breaking for her… she was blind so she could not see me in her Earthly eyes… in excruciating pain from every bone and muscle when she moved… but she could not be still… her moanings were to find her beloved son… me… and I was right there.. but she was still unsure….

The doctor in the ER had lost his own mother a few weeks before… He called me aside……

He told me “you may have to give her permission, she is fighting for you, her only son, her only child”.   Reflecting I realized the times she had expressed her concern for what I would do when she passed away. 

So my sweet mother struggled to live at 92 with her broken body for me….

A few moments later after a very intense but short prayer I went to her beside…. I had been up 48 hours…. I leaned over her bed, took her hand… she became calm and looked toward my voice with her blind eyes….

“Mom, if this is too hard, fly home… fly home to Daddy and Jesus… don’t worry about me, I’ll be alright… you’ve taught me everything I need to know….. Just fly home sweet heart if all this is too hard… I’ll be alright”…   I leaned further placing my cheek against her tear-stained and wet cheek…. I lingered there breathing the shimmering air  with her…. just living with her for the last time…. reluctant to leave even though she would be with loving relatives… so I could rest to prepare myself for the rest of the fight.  I then kissed her.  Let her hand slip from mine… when I looked down she had a slight smile on her face… I was suddenly filled with peace beyond understanding…

When I walked away from that room I knew that I had spoken to her for the last time in this life…  And I left my precious mother … the most important person in my life right then in loving hands and the hands of God….

The next morning as I was getting ready the call came.  The nurse told me that I needed to get to the hospital quickly.. I told the nurse….. “just tell me”… “please”…The nurse said your mom is almost gone… she has moments…. if you can get here quickly you may be able to see her alive… some may find it strange that I did not get into a big hurry… for I knew….

You see we have a small dog… a dog that mom loved to sit and pet…and the pup loved her…. as I finished dressing I heard her whining and barking… ..When I walked out into the living room Princess our dog was running in tight circle looking up, as if she looked up into someone’s face… then she rose up on her hind legs and leaned on something invisible… still… for moments…

“Mom are you here..”  I said through my tears, then peace began to fill me… an acceptance I couldn’t explain….. Princess dropped down and I felt wrapped in a warmth like a beautiful blanket as I stood there…. “I love you mom”…. then the feeling changed… I felt a warmth full of love.  Princess stood silently looking up… The love stayed…

I knew my mother had started down that beautiful roadway through green fields to Heaven… I started driving to the hospital and the cell rang…. It was my wonderful friend Connie… she said “She’s gone Honey, She’s gone”..  I said… “I know, she just came home to say goodbye”.   And I believe she did before she went off to heaven down that beautiful road…

When I arrived and looked down on her Holy Body… I knew Mom wasn’t there…..  I knew she was truly gone…. but the love stayed….

And over the next few beautiful sad days I had the peace that passes understanding… because of the Holy Moments God allowed me to share with my precious mother. 

I will have more to say about that wonderful peace in future blogs… God Bless you who are reading this blog… May you too know the peace that comes from knowing your loved ones are in the loving arms of Jesus Christ….

Friday is for grace

Today I woke to paws standing on my chest…  my little dog whining to me for attention at five in the morning… looking to me with the assurance that I would provide what she needs… unadulterated faith….

Lord help me to have the same kind of faith… unadulterated… knowing that my needs are going to be supplied… 

This summer has been a summer of plenty… gifts abundantly supplied… grace unbounded…

Today was the day I went to my family doctor to begin clearances to have a knee replaced… a knee which has helped me learn “pain”…..  

Father, when am I going to learn not to worry… heart fine… blood pressure… perfect… lungs… clear and well….

Why, after all you have carried me through this summer do I still sometimes wonder… “Is this going to be ok?”… “What if this happens?”

Is it the lot of all who inhabit our bodies of clay to be weak in our resolve… I wonder…

Nothing I wondered about or worried about this summer came to pass…. I came out of an accident that could have killed me without any significant injury… people who didn’t know I had been in the mangled truck asked within my hearing… “Did the person in there get out?”…. But you got me out…

You supplied everything… you supplied money from places I could never have imagined… you stilled my mind so I could rest… there was only those single footprints on the beach of this summer because you were carrying me…

The mysteries kept coming… combinations of events so incomprehensible as to be impossible without you…

So what was surprising today…. all reports good… Father I know the day will come when they aren’t… that is the way of all flesh… but when that day comes let me have that unadulterated complete faith… Let me have that unquestioning faith that comes only from you….

But for now I am so thankful for unexpected grace… unexpected love… unexpected wonder…

And Father overcome my natural tendencies… let me always be kind, moderate in my responses to people, patient…. let me always have that kind of faith…

the faith that I saw in my little dogs eyes….

she knows I will provide her food…

she knows I will provide her with love… petting…

she knows she will get a treat when I tell her she will have a treat….

she knows I will let her out when she needs to go out….

Father, let me have that innocent faith, that complete faith….

Knowing that you are always there, always caring, always guiding…

So I am thankful for Friday faith… Friday grace….

Thursdays can be for complete regeneration

Regeneration… renewal… realization of the reality of grace…..

And the symbol of it all was something as mundane as a truck… a thing… a gift…

Such worries… such fears… me… a person who tells others of the grace of God… of the protection… of the shade of his magnificent hand…

Yet, much of my summer was spent in worry… the deepest darkness… from the moment last May when I stepped out of a wreckage of twisted metal… an engine soaking me in fuel beside me… still running… electricity still sparking between bits of metal in the still running  engine…my body soaked with fuel…. and I walked away….

Suddenly I found myself relying on the kindness of strangers… thy grace of people who did not know me who I did not know… help from the blue.. human love expressed for another human being in need…

On that same day a job had ended… that I loved and needed… that made up part of my life… I had just driven away from it 15 minutes before…. and then the crash… the unbelievablility of it all… it felt like shattered light… beyond comprehension… no job, no vehicle, not enough money… A period of rest suddenly turned into nothing but questions…

Then two hours later… I drove home in a new vehicle… that I thought to have only a few days… when I got home I lay down saying “enough for the troubles of this day”… tomorrow will take care of its own troubles.. and I slept…

When I woke the next morning I took stock… not able to see how to get to the end of it… a month passed.. another month… a third… 

Endless grace… for every worry, I received a gift… I was at least wise enough to pray… and with every prayer an answer came… not always the one I thought best… but an answer… every time I needed something it came…. finally I decided to stop worrying, especially after I preached a sermon on laying back in the current, on the hands of God….

Nothing about which I worried came to pass… Money came when it was needed… this was the summer of photography… word of mouth… the kindness of strangers…

I am standing in a grocery check out line with a photography magazine… a lady behind me with four kids in tow asked me if I was a photographer… soon there was a beautiful afternoon recording the lives of a beautiful family… then another… and another… all from a smiling exchange in a grocery check out line… what are the odds… incalculable…  

Paperwork can always go wrong…  it did over and over… soon I am paying for a vehicle myself without enough money to do so.. yet, things kept coming… grace upon grace… blessing upon blessing.. 

Lord were you teaching me to lay back on the current… were you teaching me to lay in your magnificent hand… were you teaching me about your love… Lord, I am a miracle guy… it all has meaning to me… I see you behind the veil… though I can only perceive your shadow, I see the work of your hand…

Then all the right things came together in a way I could never have predicted… it required a change of hearts… it required a plentitude of grace…

So I have learned this summer that I can lay back on the raging current and your strong hands will be there…. not one thing that gave me worry came to pass… not one thing that caused me to wake in a sweat at night arose to show itself…

I am home now… all the financial issues are gone… a beautiful vehicle… a near duplicate of the one I had carried my mother in to her last visit to the doctor, her last visit to see her precious nieces and nephews… the relatives who loved her so much… the one I drove to the hospital when one of my dearest friends called me to say “she’s gone sweetheart, she’s gone”… the vehicle I drove home to walk through the door to the home that had been hers also… truly alone for the second time in my life… the vehicle that had carried her for the last time to visit the resting place of my father, her husband and the place she was to rest  only 34 days later her body so tired at 92…  and that I was nostalgic for because it had taken me through so much… It was something that had been such a precious part of my life that was now gone in twisted metal… important only to me… holding precious memories…

When I went to visit a sales lot to look at a car, a compromise, a substitute… the salesman said “wait, I think I have something that just came in you might like”…. I went back to wait in the office…

A few minutes later he turned the corner…. a transcendent moment…. the truck he drove was exactly a copy of the truck I lost, in color, in interior… but better….

The last few days I had been nostalgic, thinking remembering… not praying for or asking for something like this to happen… that seemed small….

But, then everything started to fall into place… I drove home that afternoon in peace… realizing that something inexplicable had happened… I am a miracle guy…. I accept it for what it is…. what are the odds that I would be given back the same vehicle… but better… right down to the color  of the markings on the gauges….

Silly…. maybe…it’s just a truck… but only the Lord could have known what that particular truck meant to me… deep in my soul I know and feel and accept a gift…. that I didn’t deserve but turned me back onto a path….

So this Thursday, I am regenerated… I am full, I am happy and at peace… not because of a truck, but because of a gift that my soul knows was God saying I care, I know you and I love you…..

Thursdays can be for regeneration…. Thank you Lord….

Living

On the last day of the school year in 2010 I survived what could easily have been a fatal automobile accident.   The engine of my vehicle was suddenly in the seat beside me throwing gasoline everywhere including on me.  I had to turn the engine off with the ignition key.  The vehicle I was driving was totaled.  I received minor injuries from the seat belt as well as a fairly severe knee injury from broken blood vessels.  There is no good reason the vehicle did not explode killing me in a fiery conflagration.  I was covered with fuel.  If the engine had ignited I would not be here today writing this blog. 

I’ve spent the time since there coming to grips with what happened.  I have been healing both physically but more spiritually and psychologically.  I do not pretend to have any clue as to why I was spared.  But, I am determined to use the time God has given me well. 

I have been forced to confront so much that has helped me grow in my faith.  This was a gift. 

I am thankful that I am alive to write this blog.

I am thankful that things seem to be working out financially.

I am thankful for everyday I have had since the accident.

I am thankful for, of all things, Facebook that has become both a ministry and a support group for me. God works in mysterious ways.

I am thankful for the kindness of so many friends and family.

I am thankful for the kindness of strangers.

I am thankful that people cared enough to make room for me in their hearts.

I am thankful that the things about which I worried and about which I was frightened did not come to pass.

I was thankful for the first few breaths of air standing soaked with fuel when I stepped out of a crumpled piece of metal with a hot engine on the front seat.

I am thankful that for some reason I was spared what could have been my fate on that day.

I am thankful for the year of teaching I spent last year with incredible teachers, administrators and kids. 

I am thankful that after a long period of being unable to write words are coming back to me.

I am thankful for the mystery that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for a young man who is named Aiden McGeough in Ireland who may be a relative.  He discovered me on Twitter.  His friendship lifts me up everyday.

I am thankful for Jim Lewis, the Men’s Ministry at Lakewood Church and how much they have done for me that will never know. 

I am thankful to the beautiful people of Cathedral of Praise Assembly of God and their loving acceptance.

I am thankful to the young people in my youth ministry’s who have given me a reason to go on.

I am thankful that I am here now and ready to write. 

Blessings to all….