There are many things I would be okay with facing head on, my temper, my impatience, my need to be noticed, my bad habits…
Not that truck, that wasn’t in the ‘head on’ plan.
You know that scene in all the movies where you see headlights shining brightly and then darkness, the theater fills with sounds of shattered glass and there is a sharp intake of breath as the audience waits for the verdict.
Death or life?
Abby said that all she heard me utter was “Oh dear” and then the headlights bore down on us.
and then light again.
Smoke and dust.
I remember feeling the brakes give up and the steering go after I hit that patch of ice.
I remember the sinking in my stomach and the bitter taste in my mouth when I realized I was not in control, I did not get to predict the outcome of two vehicles hurling towards each other, one significantly smaller then the other.
I remember relief when I heard the choking of two other voices, hollering at each other. Because choking meant they were breathing in the smoke and dust, breathing meant they were alive.
It is the worst feeling in the world, knowing that something awful is happening and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can only sit there, and wait for the smoke to clear.
and the memories flash, all black and white.
I didn’t cry until I knew everyone was okay, I didn’t cry until I felt a strong hand on my shoulder and the other driver asking if anyone needed medical attention. I didn’t cry until I viewed the mangled car and realized that if the steering had been up to me we would not have walked away so easily.
and boy, did I cry.
how glad I am that my life is not my own…
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen
Christmas Eve was different this year, perhaps because I’ve been working myself to a better frame of mind this past year, perhaps because we were all so excited to be together, perhaps because this Christmas Eve could have looked very different.
maybe one of us didn’t survive
maybe all of us didn’t survive
maybe we were in the hospital with life threatening injury’s
maybe we made the drive over the mountains and made it safe and sound.
then let little things drive us up the wall, pettiness we allow to irritate us into a fight or, worse, silence.
how easy it is to lose ourselves in the maybe’s.
maybe God left us at the gates of the garden, without the promise of hope.
maybe Christ refused to be born of a virgin for a humanity of thieves, murderers and liars, individuals not worth the sacrifice.
maybe the snake actually won.
and the snake crusher never came.
and I hit the brakes and my heart stops when I realize how important the kids in my car are to me and I pray that they’ll breathe and choke on the burning aftermath of the airbags.
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
So we kick out the doors on our fears and stand in the cold, the snow swirls and dives and screams, and there is a strong hand to offer us the warm cab of the truck and then there are men to pull the car off the road,
and men who leave their Christmas dinners to check bruises and scrapes
and drive you off the mountain
and the brother who drives over an hour to pick you up and greets you with tea (and whiskey) and doesn’t get angry when you give him incorrect directions and he drives in a circle for an hour
and family who greets you with hugs and tears and food
and men who call just to hear your voice
and offer to drive the three hours just to pick you up and take you home
and women who are willing to give you the shirts off their backs and remind you that around their dinner tables that night they gave praise for three lives that get to keep on living
and remind you that the snake crusher did in fact, step on the snakes head
and then you are blessed to remember that there is no maybes in this beat up life of ours, God loves us too much to give us maybe’s.
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by
Dulcius Ex Asperis