Friday, February 20, 2009

One Swift Act

In November, 2005 a terrible tragedy occurred in my community. I sat down that evening and the following words poured out. Looking back, it's hard to believe that over three years have passed. Life inevitably moves on past every sad occasion, but sometimes it's good to retrace steps and remind myself that life is precious and can be 0h-so-fleeting. When I catch myself lamenting the little things that don't matter in the Bigger Picture, or when I forget that each day is a sacred gift, this story always stops me in my tracks.

November 8, 2005

Sometimes I read about an event so tragic, it makes me shake my head and ask why. A few days ago, my local paper reported the death of five siblings in a car accident. Their father was driving the car, when another vehicle crossed the center line and hit them head on. It is one of those stories that sears the heart.

The children ranged in age from 12 down to 2. They were riding along, happy to be picking up their mother soon. Both the driver of the approaching car and their dad were seriously injured.

I searched my brain for an answer, but kept coming back to three words: God only knows. And that's exactly what their pastor spoke at the funeral, where five little caskets sat in a row. God only knows. For a reason known only to him, he called all five siblings Home on the same day.

In today's paper, I read about their mother, who is expecting her sixth baby next month. She has already visited the hospital room of the driver who was responsible for the accident, to see how he is faring. She wanted him to know that because of her strong, deep walk with God, she is able to forgive him. Not just in words or through numbed tears, but wholly and completely.

And that's the real answer, I suppose. Through one swift act, a horrible tragedy has left a family and several communities reeling. Yet, in another swift, unselfish act, a gracious, grieving mother reaches out in concern for this man's welfare, to wish him well both physically and spiritually.

Faith doesn't produce any better than that.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."--Luke 6:27



Cinj said...

Wow, that would be extremely hard for a person alone to do. That story helps to remind me that there are times when God steps in and holds us up when we alone couldn't stand.

Seedplanter said...

Cinj, I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. I appreciate that.