Friday, September 25, 2009

What to Write When I Don't Even Know What to Say...

Recently my family and I were driving down an unknown stretch of highway in a different state.

My husband, who is always prepared, had Googled maps, cross-consulted the atlas, and done his full due diligence in making certain that we'd reach our desired destination with no challenges of direction.

I was fulfilling my role as navigator, carefully reviewing said maps as we barreled down the interstate.

You'd have been proud...I wasn't letting any twist or turn escape me.

I was ON it! :)


until, that is, we traveled about 10 miles and then realized we were heading in a direction completely opposite of the one in which we were supposed to be going.

So, we exited, thinking this the perfect time to unload and take a potty break.


I was wrong.


First with directions, then in my skills of observation.

I can't remember the last time that my kiddo and I did our "business" that quickly! It was dark, and unfamiliar territory, and I just plain wanted back into the safety of my 1997 Chevrolet Chrysler mommy van! 

(I never can remember the name of that van! Or maybe, to tell you the truth,  I just like the fun of saying "Shevrilay" the way my Texan grandparents did.)

By the time that we got back onto the freeway, and were headed in the correct direction, Shane and I were both a little keyed up. We were tired, still had one kiddo that had "business" to do, and miles to go before we'd sleep.

I pulled out the Google maps Shane had printed off, and then looked and looked again at the atlas and we finally deduced that the error was not our own.

It was a mapping error.


Whew. Deep sigh....back on the road again...

And then, we hit traffic, and I'm not understating things when I say hit it!

One moment, we're zooming down the freeway and the next, we're at a explanation. Traffic has funneled into two lanes, and we are creeping along at a snail's pace.

Then we see them...

flashing lights so bright that the night sky looks as if someone is setting off fireworks for a 4th of July celebration.

The children were amazed as we drove past, because they'd never seen a firetruck that close up at night. 

I thank God that they are children, and that firetrucks still thrill them.

I thank God that they missed the other views of the scene that night.

I thank God again that they are children and that firetrucks still thrill them, and that they noticed nothing else....

not the woman who stood by the side of the road in shock, just staring down into the city lights below the freeway...

the guard rail all torn to shambles....

the large blue blanket covering the body of the person who had lost their life on the scene...

nor the hand...

the hand that the emergency workers failed to cover up.

Why the whole body was covered while one hand was allowed to remain sticking straight out, I'll never understand.

It took me a while, as we rode past the scene, to catch my breath.

A while to gather my thoughts.

In truth, I'm still trying to gather them.

Once words could again be formed on my lips I said to Shane, "That could have been us. Had we not gotten bad directions and then decided to stop for a restroom break, that could have been us."

I thought about how I could have been that person standing on the side of the freeway with my loved one's hand sticking out from under the blanket, while the rest of the world just zoomed on past....

I wondered, "Did that person know that they were created in the image of God? Did they know the Lord? Are they celebrating their life choices right now, or grieving them beyond words? Who will comfort that woman that I saw standing in shock on the roadside? "Oh Lord God, will you pour Your mercy upon her?""

And that night, my shot prayer was for her.

"Lord, You know her name, but I know only her stance of shock.
 You know her heart, I but briefly witnessed her heartache. 
 You love her, Lord. on her now."

It's taken me some time to be able to write this post, and I'm not even sure why I felt I needed to.

I hope we won't complain about missed exits anymore, and that each of us will remember what the book of James reminds us about our lives here on earth... our short, lives of vapors....

I love you tonight, sweet friends.


James 4:13  
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."

James 4:14  
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are {just} a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
James 4:15  
Instead, {you ought} to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

Blue Letter Bible. "James's Epistle 4 - (NASB - New American Standard Bible)." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2009.
24 Sep 2009. < >


Anonymous said...

So I'm writing too when I don't even know what to say. I have found, however, that when my loved ones grieve, something inside of me makes me grieve with them.

Things happen so quickly. Before I became a Christian I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how I can ask for forgiveness if I were in a situation where I knew I was dying quickly. I knew I would have no problem asking for forgiveness, but I couldn't quite get my arms around the part about what if something happened so quickly that I didn't have the chance to repent.

See, I didn't understand that once you repent and become a Christian, that my sins - past, present and future, would be forgiven once and forever. I would never again have to try to figure that out. I soon learned that part, and it has been a most amazing truth of God's word for me to learn.

So I'm crying with you tonight Jes. And I too pray for these people involved - and even others involved whom you could not see right then.

I am humbled and am able to rest when I realize that for those of us who know God - for us who are Christ followers, we know that God's Word tell us that all of my time on this earth has been ordained for me. Psalm 139 says it like this: "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before on of them came to be."

Sometimes we are prepared when death comes knocking, but other time we are left there to wonder. I am thankful that my Lord doesnt have to wonder. In fact, His words have reassured me that I don't have to worry either because GOD KNOWS. He will never be caught off guard - he is always in control.

So tonight Jes, let God's peace surround you and protect you. Trust in His sovereignty. Not only in your life, but in theirs.

I am also very thankful that the children didn't see those things. Where were you guys going I am wondering?

Thank you for allowing us to participate in your shots each night. I have 2 prayer requests: Kelly and Danny.

I love you Jes.


Kim Green said...

A not-so-sweet reminder that our days are numbered and ordered by the Lord. It is such a privilege to be a child of the Living God and one that we should not take for granted. Grace that we should not take for granted. I am praying for that lady as her day is devastated today and for many to come. Thankful for God's provision of safety for you and your family and your thoughtfulness to share your experience and make us even more grateful for our next breath. Love you, Sweets! Come home quickly!

Deb said...

Thanks for keeping what is the MOST important so ever present!


chandy said...

oh, I'm so glad your kiddos were spared such a gruesome sight.

Anonymous said...

I love your writing and the love that you have for others. Your husband and your children are blessed.
Interesting, I would have been effected the same way.

Anonymous said...

Please add my sister Karen to your shot prayer list.