About a year ago today, I thought I was a goner. I won’t call it a near death experience but rather, an almost death experience. My legs were kicked out from under me during a routine pushing of my truck (I say routine because this is life when you have a faulty gas gauge). I saw the tire spin towards my head in slow motion, the black threads threatening my life. Chest to concrete, I couldn’t breathe, much less come up with an escape plan. I felt paralyzed, unable to find a way out– it all happened so fast! I conceded to the fact that this truck was going to run over me. “How very anti-climactic.”, I thought. I figured that I would at least have some final “eureka”– some fine moment of clarity before I went to meet my maker. Nada.
I flinched, embracing the end. The tire missed my head but not my shoulder. S l o w l y the truck rolled its weight down my arm and across my stomach. Images of Houdini scenes flashed into my head. “Is this truck going to saw me in half? What’s going to happen to my innards?”, I wondered, picturing the stuff that horror movies are made of. I tried to scream for help, but I couldn’t make a sound. As the truck rolled away, I was surprised that I could still be alive and that there wasn’t goo on the ground. By now I noticed that my blood was smearing from my lips into a dirty stain on the pavement. I didn’t have time to process what happened. Unrelenting pain couldn’t keep me motionless. Somehow, I jumped to my feet and ran hard after the car in hysterical tears, “My baby!”. My boy was still strapped into his car seat in my truck that was rolling away.
Unbeknownst to me, there was a silent witness that happened to come on this scene right before the action started. Foreseeing what was likely to happen, he blocked the coming traffic to make sure that my truck wouldn’t be met with a collision. Thankfully, the angle that my truck was in made it so that as it rolled down the incline in a half circle, it wasn’t rolling into traffic but was being stopped by a cinder wall. My son was terrified and crying after witnessing what just happened to Mommy, but he was unharmed. As my Super Mommy adrenaline wore off I finally realized that there was blood everywhere and the pain started to set in. I had tire tracks on my stomach and I was afraid to move as my arm started to lock up.
Then the dam burst. Trembling and failing horribly at composing myself, tears pooled on my knees like a flood. I attempted to process what just happened. Surely, I should have died. I’m thankful I didn’t, but how did I escape? I looked up and suddenly there was a police squad car and a fire truck that came to my aid. In between sniffles, snot, and catching my breath I recounted what happened. They wanted to call an ambulance… I thought, “Yeah that’s not your hospital bill buddy, but thanks.” The scene was walked over by the officer. After tracing the trajectory of the vehicle and examining the tire tracks both the officer and the firemen were in awe. They concluded that if I fell a mere few inches to the right or the left they would likely be calling a coroner, not a tow truck. “You are extremely lucky to be alive, ma’am.” Several hours (and thousands of dollars in hospital bills… yikes) later, x-rays, and a ct scan all cleared me to be discharged from the hospital. Despite the traumatic events leading up to that night there were no fractures or any broken bones to be found. I was just left in pain and awe.
May 1st, 2014 will probably always be a huge defining moment for me. Suddenly the details in life hold such greater significance. “Nothing can pluck you from his hand.” became less of a soteriological battle cry and much more of a practical application. The idea that the details of my days were all laid out bring great comfort and fear to me. Jesus loves me. Like loves me loves me. And yet… I keep finding myself in that bloody place in the pavement, seeing death coming for me, and yet– living. Undone after that first breath of new life, and trembling at the graveness of my state, I am left with a question. Where would I be both physically and spiritually if it weren’t for Jesus intervening? A few inches to the right or the left, that’s where.