Faithful Friend and I have a standing once a month 'date' that has been going on for nearly five years. Both of us are busy sorts and family focused so once a month is about all our schedules can handle. You can bet that we both look forward to it when the day has arrived. We are prone to send each other humorous text throughout the day, letting both of us know how eager we are to see each other.
We go to a lovely restaurant that requires us to journey a bit. As you can expect, the time flies as our mouths ramble on and on about how our lives have been doing since our last meeting. In a blink, we have arrived and we are seated by our servers that know us by sight now. They also know that we will stay there for nearly three hours, (we have offered to pay rent) and that we like dessert later than right after the meal and that it is important to keep our beverages filled. (To servers: we wouldn't stay there if there were people waiting, We make sure that they get to close out our bill. We tip very well.....) We love it there. We bring our(my) journal, daily and prayer, and go day by day, remembering little updates as we tick off the calendar. Our families know that short of an emergency, these nights are sacred and we need to be left alone. Period the End.
We are tough on each other. We can get away with nothing. If we sense maudlin fussing, it is put to rest. If we sense whiny reflections taking up too much time in our lives, we nip it in the bud. We applaud each others victories and joys and weep with our sorrows and disappointments. Come to think of it, our restaurant server friends probably enjoys us being there just for the entertainment we must provide. FF knows my weaknesses and assists me in them. We both know our histories and take each others daily life in light of it.
You can imagine the overwhelming jarring that occurred to our bodies, emotions and spirits when we found ourselves fishtailing on a state route on our way to my front porch. Our conversation was stunted and our voices found screams as our vehicle was slammed at a 50 mph force from a very large truck, unwilling to slow down for the approaching railroad tracks. We grabbed each other assuring each other that we thought we were okay. We are so complementarly different, that, of course, we responded completely opposite. I jumped out of the car with the best fight or flight I have ever managed. FF, on the other hand, froze. She could not, would not move, which is of course the right way to handle a rear ended accident. As I sat in the ditch that we were perched on, hopelessly looking for my cell phone, the driver of the Big Truck approached me, asking me if we were okay and why we 'stopped' on the tracks. I know that this will come as a big surprise to most of you, but I stared at the man and I asked him (loudly), 'Why didn't YOU?' He could tell it could get ugly and retreated to his truck, reparking it and resuming his cell phone textingathon. (This is an assumption on my part) Once I found my phone on the floor of the car, and found my ever present notebook and pen, I started out to his now parked truck, seeking accident information. I was once told that when I get mad, my eyes turn red. I believe they may have been flaming when I saw the look in his face. This very tall man, in a very big truck, looked at me when I requested his name and insurance company name and seemed a bit frightened. When he said he would tell the officer, I stared him down with my flaming eyes and I said (loudly) 'I want your name and insurance company and I want it NOW'. He quietly acquiesed and mumbled his information. I thanked him. I can be pushy but I am always polite. He did not understand that you do not damage my most faithful loving friend and her vehicle without having to pass by me first.
By this time, the paramedics had arrived and encouraged me to take a seat and let them do their thing. By that time, the adrenalin, of which I own plenty, began to cause my body to tremble beyond description. Poor FF had a devil of time trying to hold my hand with all the shakin goin on. But she persisted. Only when we where separately taken on crash boards and put in cervical collars, did we part hands. The paramedic kept telling me, 'You have to trust us while we get you on this board. Trust Us.' You have to understand: I trust very few people. You have to go through a significant process to earn that trust. However, it was in the way she said it that made me completely succumb to her care.
It was once I was firmly installed on the board on the stretcher, taped and strapped in the middle of State Route 60, that it hit me. The only thing I could see was the vastness of the early spring sky in the country. The stars were amazing and clear and plentiful. I heard nothing spoken nor siren or discussion, I merely stared in awe at the overwhelming beauty of the heavens and the order of it all and the Creator that has each star counted and name. With that power, I knew that I was in good Hands.
X-rays have been taken and read and proclaimed nothing broken. Obvious aches and pains remind me that yes, indeed, I had been hit by a truck. Faithful Friend took more of the impact as you can see in the photo, the left side having been hit harder, and she is struggling with her discomfort. We both realize, that in the light of how terrible it could have been, landing only several feet from a used car lot with many cars lined up and a precarious ditch that could have caused us to roll or even the fishtailing that we did, could have landed us in oncoming traffic. Oh, so many scenarios, that it makes our discomfort seem silly. We are very thankful people.
Which brings us to Good Friday.
What if. What if it was different? What if we were devastatingly damaged? What if we died?
Say I died. What would have happened to this shell of a body and my spirit? Does it just evaporate into the cosmos or reconfigure into a frog? Does it enter the geology of the earth become more carbon?
I'll tell you where this particular body/spirit will go...
Because of the events that happened on this day, Good Friday, over 2000 years ago, my appointment with eternity was sealed by a humble Man who took on it all; all the punishment that I truly deserve for my immoral, hateful, murderous life, so that I can dwell in a heavenly, holy place for the rest of eternity. My soul, of which I am, my body just decorating it for my stint on earth, shall dwell in the presence of my Creator, Redeemer Lord. I am told this in His Holy Word, words that have survived milennia and are as meaningful to me as they were to the people mentioned in it. Truth. By which our morals, our laws are all based on. Absolutes to guide us all so that society does not run willy nilly. This is the God that I trust on for my eternity. And I have searched for others. In my early twenties, I studied the Tao de ching under a Kung fu master. I read Lao Tzu. I studied Tai chi ch'uan, enriching my qi, for power. I danced with hedonism that nearly killed me. I know from which I speak. I did not inherit my spirituality. My parents were absent from spiritual things for a long time and certainly didn't nurture it in me. This was my own educated journey.
How thankful I was for that journey when the 'peace that surpasses all understanding' guarded my heart and mind on that crazy night three days ago. I cannot tell you the overwhelming peace that I carried in my heart that night staring at the heavens, knowing without a doubt, that if things had not been so benevolent in the accident, that I would be completely ready to meet my eternity. Knowing that I would stand in the presence of My Creator without carrying the stain of ALL my sins upon my soul, because, my Redeemer, Jesus, on that horrid cross, nailed it all on Himself. I stand before my God, spotless and pure because it has all be paid for. What Love.
What if your wrong about your eternal appointment? What if the anger that you have toward men has leaked into a relationship with this same Redeemer that I speak of? It is never too late. Do not wait till you are strapped onto a board, a gurney, a stretcher, a highway till you rethink your eternity.
Difficult words for our mortal souls...
What do you have to lose...?