…And Just Like That

Life forever changes.

One second I’m watching TV with my wife on a quiet Sunday night. The next, I’m sprinting down the road toward a woman kneeling on the concrete with her husband’s badly injured body resting on her lap. There’s a strong smell of gasoline coming from the mangled motorcycle in the grass a few yards away. The woman is pleading to God, “Jesus, please. I can’t live without him. Robert, can you hear me? He’s not breathing! He’s not breathing!”

Even in the darkness, it’s easy to piece together what happened. He skidded off the road and slammed into a concrete culvert and a brick mailbox. His wife, riding with him on a separate bike, probably watched it happen.

Now my whole family is in the road. My daughter Emily, who heard the crash and the screams for help from an open window upstairs, is sitting with the woman rubbing her back making sure she knows she’s not alone. Help is on the way. My other daughter Megan, who happened to be driving behind the accident, is talking to police about what she saw. My wife is directing traffic.

We hear sirens in the distance. Help. We tell his wife that he’s breathing. I’m not sure he is. I think she’s losing her husband in front of all of us. What can I do? I kneel down over the man and pray. Then I feel a person touch my shoulder and pray with me, then another.

The sirens grow louder. Police lights get closer. Hope is here.

My prayer in the road is clumsy. I’m not sure what to say. Neighbors gather around and I pray out loud. I thank God for Robert’s life and I ask for total healing. I ask that his broken body be made new. A half hour later, an officer comes to our door. Robert died.

Life forever changes.

But what about our prayers? What about his wife’s tearful plea? Wasn’t God listening? I felt Him there on the road with us; I know I did. I even pictured us all talking about this with Robert when he got better. A grim-faced officer shakes his head, “He didn’t make it.” I think of the people in my life who tell me faith is ridiculous—that prayer is a waste of breath. There is no God. Then I recall the lyrics of my favorite Jeremy Camp song.

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe

He didn’t make it? Oh, I think he did.

Today that darkened road is just a memory. It feels like a dream.

Each new day is a gift. Life forever changes and faith remains.

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