10.28.2011

Where life and death collide

Mission Hospital, 5th floor ::: Room 510

Sitting beside the bed of an old friend, I watched the medical team scurrying around the room to alleviate her discomfort. In the aftermath of a car accident, my friend had a few scratches, a broken collarbone, multiple bumps, bruises and a massive headache.

But the thing she complained about the most was the bruising path from her safety belt that had, literally, cut into her flesh. I could see the blood vessels and immediate bruising that had developed from the collision.

While giving her more pain medication, the physician reminded her that if it had not been for the restraining belt, she would have died.

:: The very thing that brought her the most pain was also the source of her own salvation::

As I reflect on the pain of the past few years, I center my awareness on the internal bruises that were born in the suffering. I rage against the pain, thrusting my fist in the air at the Great Physician who gently reminds me that His belt of restraint kept me from plunging through the windshield in a collision of all things unholy.

If it had not been for the piercing pain, I would have never stirred from the slumber of my bulletproof indifference. As I inhale the pain reliever, clutching for life support ~ I am acutely aware and infinitely grateful for the intersection of my deepest pain/sacred life.

Thank you God for the bullhorn of your grace, (disguised as enemies) shouting scandalous profanity at the image of another statistic waiting to happen. And this collision would not end in death, but a full recovery is immanent...

2 comments:

Jeremy M said...

Wow, what a revelation

Student of Truth said...

I went to the church page to listen to a sermon I hadn't heard yet, and I found your blog. I read this story. (I am mortified that you saw me in that pain that my family said was so fierce, and I was so wigged out, and I don't remember it...ooooh.) The first thing that touched me here was that you called me "an old friend." That moved me so much. Me? I had been hanging around for only one week with eXodus, then I had my accident. But yes, in that one week, I feel like we connected in a sense of "the mission." All this...it's serious; it's real; we're here and we have to do something about it -- about ourselves and about others. Thanks for calling me "friend" and for being there as "my pastor." Elise also came to the hospital after only meeting me once (or was it twice?). Be blessed, Elise!

I want to tell the truth about that seatbelt, so that I can contribute to the affirmation of hurting people, and attest to the realization that, by God's Grace and Word, I am being delivered from my shackles. The truth is, that several times before I had the accident, which, BTW, was caused by a truck driving into my lane and me swerving to avoid him, losing control of the car, running head-long and fast into a tree. The car was ruined -- just wrapped around the thing. As the EMTs were dragging me out, I noticed a pathetic little deployed airbag on the passenger side of the car. Mine wasn't deployed at all, but that was some great searbelt! Anyway, for a while, off and on, before the accident, I had been saying to myself as I was driving my car..."I just really want to go about a 100 mph and crash into a tree." Yeah, that's how I felt. I have lots of "stuff," as everyone has, and I was getting weary of fighting -- to continue to "run the race set before me." I didn't want to keep it up. I believed, with all my heart, but I was just tired of the battle, b/c of what other people had done to me, and what I had to get rid of within myself. When I later remembered the little hollow place in the car, untouched by the rest of the ruin in that one driver's seat that the emergency people dragged me out of, I remembered knowing God. Just "knowing God" -- like maybe David felt after realizing that that rock that he had flung had sunk into the head of Goliath. I don't know -- it was just something "epoch" -- for that time in my life alone. It was an "Ebenezer." God let me crash into a tree, just as I had wanted. I thought I was going to die -- I whispered, "God have mercy on me" just before I crashed. But I was still alive. God wants me to be alive. And no matter how hard it gets, He will help me, for He has helped me all this time, and He is a good Helper.

Thank you for being God's helper in finding a ride to church for "car-less" me. How absolutely awesome...and I can't ever be late to miss anything, b/c Randy needs to be there early...

I further want to say that, at the end of the service on Sunday,12/8/2012, for the first time in my WHOLE LIFE -- I didn't feel like I had a "broken heart" anymore. Wow.