Friday, August 14, 2009

Hit and Run Christian

On one hot Sunday afternoon in 2009 my sister, Robbie and I were involved in an accident coming back from D.C. We were on I-95 South going 55 miles an hour when a guy hit us from behind and suddenly sent our car spinning out of control. It felt like we were just flying through the air (although we never left the ground). I did the best I could steering an uncontrollable car knowing that we were in heavy traffic on a four lane interstate with cars speeding all around us. I was braced for the worst to happen.

I remember feeling terrified as I hopelessly tried my best to get the car back under control while traveling at speeds between 50 and 60 miles an hour. Everything was a blur. I didn’t know which way was left and which was right. Our lives were at stake, but I had absolutely no control of the situation. 

When the car finally came to rest on the side of the road we were naturally very shaken, but we slowly began to realize we were completely unharmed. We didn’t even bump our heads. We didn't hit any of the other cars around us (and there were lots). Then I started to cry as my adrenalin rushed at an all time high. Robbie had to reach over and put the car in park as we were still slowly rolling down the shoulder of the road. As I looked to my left, we saw a car weaving up the exit. It was the driver who hit us. He didn't even stop to see if we were dead or alive. He just bolted for the nearest exit. Robbie saw him turn around and look back at us, but he kept going. At that moment, we were just simply thankful that God kept us from harm, even though I couldn’t believe nobody stopped to see if we were okay. We felt abused and abandoned on the side of a busy highway. People just continued on their way to wherever they were headed with no time to stop and see if there was anything they could do to help.  

We called the State police and they sent a trooper right out. But a few minutes later another car pulled up behind. They had witnessed the accident and took the time to follow the driver off of the interstate and got his tag number. Then they drove back to the scene of the accident to give the information to the trooper. When I stuck my head in their car to say “Thanks” I saw a Bible sitting in the front seat. I noticed they were all dressed up with their children in the back seat. 

“Are you guys Christians?” I asked. 

“Yes, we are,” the lady in the passenger side answered. “We’ve just come from church and we saw what happened to you.” 

“I wanted to stop to see if you were okay, but my wife suggested that we follow the driver of the car that hit you so we could get the tag information and report it to the police,” said her husband. 

I couldn’t believe they had taken the time to go through so much trouble for us. I wanted to wrap my arms around the entire family, but I just blurted out “thank you” about a million times while tears streamed down my face. They just smiled back as if to say, “We understand.” 

As it turns out the police radioed the tag information to other troopers and they were able to track the guy to his parents home. He had been driving their car. He was drunk and his blood alcohol was twice the allowed limit and he was uninsured. 

I stood beside the car as the trooper informed me of everything that was going on. The witness came over to share some information with the trooper and me. He reached out to shake my hand, but I opened my arms and gave him a great big hug. He didn’t know me, but we were brother and sister through Christ.  

I stood back and surveyed the damage to my car. It was pretty bad, but still driveable. My sister and I just stared at each other as everything began to sink in. God had protected us. While we were completely out of control, He was totally in control. He used others to come to our aid and provided information we didn’t have. We were dazed and amazed. 

As we finally were able to get on our way and continue our trip back home, there was mostly silence in the car. The occasional sniffle was the only sound. We had prayed for protection before we got on the road, but little did we realize how much protection we needed. 

We were both very emotional for days after the accident. I just couldn’t get that moment out of my mind when someone crashed into us and the feeling of having no control over what might happen next. We had no control, but God had complete control. The other miraculous thing was God had spoken to Robbie some time ago and said "I have saved you from certain death, because you belong to me and to me only. I am in control." Robbie wasn't sure what that meant at the time, but now we know. We serve an amazing God. 

The morning after the accident when Robbie was reading her devotion, this is the scripture given to read: 

Isaiah 35:8-10 - "There will be a highway called The Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It's for God's people exclusively-impossible to get lost on this road. Not even fools can get lost on it. No lions on this road, no dangerous, wild animals-Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening. Only the redeemed will walk on it. The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They'll sing as they make their way back to Zion, unfading halos of joy, encircling their heads, welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night." (The Message).

How cool is it that God spoke to her using a scripture referencing a highway, The Holy Road?  I’m so thankful to have been given the gift of salvation through Christ which entitles me to travel on that Holy Road.  

Life is precious. I realize that now more than ever before. Within a few moments everything can change, but God is constant and never changes. Rest in that peace. Live life on purpose and celebrate every moment, trusting that even though we travel on highways that can spin us out of control, He is completely in control of everything.

Be thankful for your life and enjoy your walk with Christ. Keep your eyes focused on Him and don't let the little distractions affect you. We serve a loving God (who luckily knows how to drive a car when it is completely out of control.) 

The day after our accident, Robbie and I went to our favorite restaurant and we ordered something completely different from our usual order. We both felt like we'd been given a brand new day. I realize even more now how much more He is in control than we are or can ever be. Even if God had decided it was time for us to go that day, I know where we’re going without a doubt because He already made that sacrifice long ago for me and I have accepted the gift of salvation. I guess He has more for us to do here. 

We're thankful for all of the prayers and for having such a great bunch of people in our lives. I just wanted to take the time to give Him praise and honor and to say again, for the millionth time, thanks God. Now I want to get busy and do something for Him, but my love for Him pales compared to His love for me. I don’t want to be a hit and run Christian. I want to linger in His word and in His love. I want to listen for His voice and be obedient to what I’m called to do for Him. I want to have a life that can be interrupted by the needs of others. I want to take the time to stop and help those who feel they’ve been knocked off of their life’s track and have been abandoned along side the road. I want to be the one with the information that’s going to lead them to their destination and into the plan God has for their life. I want to be the one who God uses to search and rescue. Use me God. I’ll pull out of the speeding fast lane of life and be that extension of your love, your heart and your hand. 

How about it? Are you a hit and run Christian?

1 comment:

  1. Polly ur blog is awesome especially ur website "Life is a buffet".