The police investigator was very serious. Pad in hand, he watched me closely. He was interrogating me about the condition of my oldest son in the next curtained cubicle, who was being evaluated by the medical staff in the emergency department of Saint Anthony’s North. All such incidents of suspected child abuse were thoroughly investigated by authorities back in 1987.
“How exactly did your son receive those scrapes and abrasions along with the bruising? Did you hit your son?”
I was sitting bare-chested with ribbon bruises of my own where the seat belt and shoulder harness kept me from flying through the windshield. I had four other purple spots forming on the bottom of both feet and the palms of both my hands as I tried to brace for impact at the last second. My son, Jarrod had been strapped in a car seat next to me on the passenger side. He still hit the dash. A commercial vehicle, running late on a delivery, turned directly into our lane, hitting our Sedan head-on. The State Patrol officer who was the first on the scene had yet to file his report. I remember him looking inside the wrecked car. He said, “That car seat saved the little boy’s life.” Even with the car seat, the dash came to him, creating a nasty bleeding forehead and ugly bruises.
I was still stunned, slightly concussed, and groggy from the accident.
“I am sorry sir, we have an incident report to file. We need to take a statement from you. Did you strike your son?”
“Uh, no, the truck did?”
That was the last thing I remember. The concussion was now advancing, overtaking the adrenalin rush.
Elaine arrived fearing the worst. They called her from the nurses’ station in the emergency department. She was working at her hospital in the next town over, taking a shift in the Physical Therapy department.
“Can you come to Saint Anthony’s North, your husband and son have been in an auto accident.”
I woke up to a beautiful blonde-haired blue-eyed woman, dressed in her Physical Therapy uniform, telling me with a kiss that I was going to have one hell of a headache.
“Jarrod is fine. They are going to release you soon and I’ll take you home.”
It could have just as easily been the face of Jesus I woke to, saying, “Welcome back to Heaven.”
But, the sovereignty of God is why I am here writing these words instead. Amen!
The commercial truck could have killed both of us. I could have not worn a seatbelt. I could have ignored the law requiring a car set for Jarrod.
Another near-death experience: my sixth, that I know of, and Jarrod’s first that we are aware of. Repetition generates learning. After all these experiences, I have come to one huge conclusion: I am not in charge of my life. That belongs to the sovereignty of the Father. I serve at the pleasure of the Triune God, period. It helps me live out my days in peace; knowing the “fate” of my life in the here and now is in the hands of my loving Father—and always will be.
I was already decompressing. I sent my final message to Elaine, then shut down my phone. I told her to read the note I left on my pillow as I quietly left earlier that morning. Each year, when c...