Tommy’s Accident and the Spirit’s Miraculous Nudge
A phone call woke me early last Tuesday morning, alerting me to a miracle in disguise. In the receiver I heard my son Tommy’s frantic voice, “Am I going to die? I had a stupid accident! Am I going to die?”
Sometimes the logic of an adult with mental disabilities is interesting. He knew car accidents could kill a person, so in the trauma of the moment, he worried that he might be one of those unfortunates.
I assured him that since he was walking and talking, he probably wouldn’t die. I kept my voice slow and steady to help calm him until we could drive out to meet him. But as soon as the call ended, I shouted (screamed) to my husband, “Wil! It’s Tommy! We gotta get dressed!” My mother’s heart craved to be near my son so he wouldn’t be alone.
Tommy was trying to merge onto a highway in heavy traffic when the driver in front of him stopped because she couldn’t merge, and he rear ended her. Both cars were totaled. Both drivers felt stiff shoulders, backs or knees, but other than that, they fared okay. We praise God for His protection, because it could have been much worse.
The miracle part of the story relates to the airbags that activated and shielded Tommy from more serious injury. The manufacturer had recalled the airbags over a year ago because they didn’t activate, but life is busy. We kept putting it off.
Three or four weeks ago, however, I felt an intense urge to get the airbags replaced. That, obviously, was the Holy Spirit’s nudging. We obeyed, and, who knows, it could have saved Tommy’s life.
And this is the miracle…
The God who created the universe cares for us enough to reach out and involve Himself in our everyday lives. His Father’s heart craves to be near us so we won’t be alone. Such brilliant love would blind us—burn us to death—because of the shadowed weaknesses of our sinful nature. But God longed for our fellowship, so He surrendered to the womb of a woman to put on the flesh He created. With human skin, Jesus could pay our debt of sin.
Jesus conquered the power of sin and opened the door for us to join in companionship with God. That’s a miracle. Our part is to come to Him, hear His nudges, and join His adventure.
A similar incident happened when I was eighteen. I owned a Barracuda that (badly) needed fixing up, but (I admit) I liked the looks of longing that the car solicited when I drove through our small town—usually a little too fast. But this time, as I approached the edge of town, I felt an intense urge to slow down, so without hesitating I stepped on the brake.
And it was a good thing. A few seconds later I came upon a service truck parked on the side of the road, and a little girl rode her bike out from behind the truck right in front of me. I screeched to stop a few feet away from her. It startled her and some older kids ran out from the yard to help her. I made eye contact with one of the girls and as she gestured a sigh of relief, I saw in her the same feeling that sunk into me. If any piece of this scenario had happened a split second later than it did, I could have caused that girl’s injury or death, with a grief that would have shadowed me for the rest of my life.
...but for the miracle of the Spirit’s everyday involvement in our lives.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Lord Jesus. No human language can supply words that convey sufficient gratitude for offering Your hand of companionship to the clay beings you fashioned and animated with your breath of eternity.
In the voice of Eugene Peterson (The Message):
It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper
and do away with the whole lot of us.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love,
He embraced us.
He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.
He did all this on his own,
with no help from us!
Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven
in company with Jesus,
– Ephesians 2:3b-6