Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Friday, September 17, 2010

Purposeful grace

This week, there have been 2 tragic accidents in our area in which a vehicle has struck a pedestrian. I am so sorry for those families.

Today, sorting through sheet music and snapshots in Mom's music bench, I found a newspaper clipping about my own accident.

I'll take the discovery as a whispered reminder of miracle and grace.

I was five. I rode a school bus. Our driveway was on the opposite side of the road where I was dropped off, so I had to cross in front of it to board or to get off. Our house stood back off the road about 200 yds.

This particular day, my momma stood in the doorway saying goodbye to her piano student and watching for my bus to bring me home from school. I remember I was carrying my red book bag, my 1976 bicentennial lunchbox, and some loose papers in my hand. I stepped off and in front of the bus and dropped the papers. In bending over to pick them up, my bus driver lost sight of me, thought I had crossed over, and began to move the bus. I was knocked down and the bus ran over me, my right hip to be exact...don't really remember any of it, but my injuries indicated as much.

The man driving the bus was also a volunteer EMT/firefighter, so when he realized what had happened, he stopped. He picked me up, began rushing me to the house and met my frantic mother in the drive. She had seen the whole thing happen.

Inside the house, I was laid on the couch...{this is when my memory kicks in again} and examined. My injuries were not life-threatening and since we lived out in the country, someone called my doctor's office and arranged to meet the squad there. I was laid on a piece of plywood and put in the back of the piano student's station wagon and off we went. From there, I was taken to the hospital.

As the doctor, with a thick foreign accent, tried to insert a dye into my veins, I screamed and flailed. This memory became the most traumatic of the whole accident. Too scary, I didn't like the feeling of frantic activity above and around my hospital gurney. I didn't know what was happening, but I knew the chaos was because of something I had done.

Finally the thorough exam was finished and  the crazy thing injuries were not all that traumatic. I was sore and had a cracked pelvis. Other than that I was declared okay.

My dad, who was in the Naval Reserves, was in Florida (?) at the time. He was contacted and started making his way home. He brought me a little silver cross. My momma, who had recently turned her life over to Jesus, said she kept her head together until he arrived at the hospital and then she felt like it was okay to lose it...which she promptly did.

I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and then was sent home. I remember walking around holding on to pieces of furniture for support until I got stronger. 

The newspaper came and took a picture of me. And my parents took another of me with all the stuffed animals I received as get well gifts. My teacher gave me a copy of  The Velveteen Rabbit...still have that...still love that book.

So, the bus driver...I see him. Frequently, in fact, when we're home. Throughout the years he has been my postman, my youth leader, a swim team father at my family's swimming pool, and more. Sometimes I see him when I'm walking and he's driving...sometimes he's walking and I'm driving...{bwahahah...just kidding....} And each time I see him...I remember this episode of our history. I mean, I am so aware of our history; and if I am, is he? I have to think he must think about it when he sees me. On a few occasions we have even subtly referred to our history.

Never have I felt resentful or angry toward him; merely curious about what happened with him that day and since.

In my clumsy life, I have scratched/dented/stained/ripped/bruised/scarred many things. Many people. Many things that have belonged to many people. My husband always buys me the extra warranty on my electronic devices...and I use it. And if only I could purchase extended warranties on people, *sigh.* "There's a malfunction with this relationship. I'd like a replacement, please."

I can hardly be in the presence of person, place, or thing with which I have a history and not recall damage I have done. My next instinct is to begin apologizing...for my hurtful words, my neglect of a friendship, my carelessness with their belongings...the scars I have wrought. Thankfully, many of you have granted forgiveness...but that doesn't mean I forget. {And this passive recognition in no way lets me off the hook for a direct apology to those I have hurt. I'm just explaining that I am aware. If I start to worry about the damage I don't even know! Put me away! If I am unaware of a hurt I've wrought, please bring it to my attention, or trust God to.}

I have a history. And it's okay to recognize and remember it. But in the next milliseconds I am reminded that I am forgiven. Boy, those moments are not forget the forgiveness part. Can it really be true? Still so impossible to believe.

God is gracious. I'm alive. I can walk. I can smile. I am forgiven and so is this man. I just wonder if he remembers all that as I am smiling, waving, power-walking past him....


Debby said...

I never knew this. So glad that you were able to survive to tell your story but even more so to become the great person that you are. ((((HUGS))))

Bekah said...

Awesome post, Ame. I am so glad you're "smiling, waving, powerwalking"!