I’ve had this phone call before. I’ve been here. Yesterday’s call went something like this…..”I need to tell you first that Jesse is okay. “ And here begins the slow spiral of my sinking heart. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. “Hurry up and tell me!!”, screams my heart. “Don’t say another word”, says my head. So, with my mouth clamped shut and tears rolling….I wait for the details of the inevitable “whatever comes next”. The voice says, “He is talking, he is alert and oriented. They are taking him to Strong Memorial Hospital.” Yes I’ve heard the alive, talking, alert speech before. Problem is….a lot can happen between the scene and the hospital. And you arrive to squeeze your loved one and they are not alert, not talking, and definitely not oriented. So while I chose to believe the information I was given, a part of my heart was on its way to the hospital and I really wasn’t sure it would still be living when I got there.
I got my three boys together and we sat on the floor and held hands. I told them daddy got hurt riding a bike and we need to pray for him right away. I courageously and tearfully (because I do believe you can cry and be courageous at the same time!) declared to them that Daddy was held in God’s hands and God was going to take care of him. Daddy was going to be okay. We held hands tightly and asked God to do a miracle and take care of the love of all of our lives.
I called my superhero of a mother and she came to my rescue. She left work early and picked up her three crazy grandsons and took them back to the stability of her house. I made coffee. Because that’s what I always do. It was perhaps my way of stubbornly clinging to the desire for a normal morning. He will be so happy I brought this and he will so enjoy this coffee. I will walk into that space and hand him his coffee. He will say, “thanks Mama, this is the best coffee ever.” And we will proceed to enjoy it….together!!! I jumped into my car and sped onto 490w and not 30 seconds later came to full bumper-to-bumper halt , which is where I sat for the next 25 minutes. Just sat. And waited. And wondered. And felt very out-of-control. And just needed to NOT be here. Just needed to be there.
I finally arrived at the hospital . I’m sure I looked rather silly carrying two coffees into the emergency department as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening. But I was hopefully trusting words from earlier that morning. “He is talking. He is alert. He is coherent.” And he had texted telling me he was at Xray. Solid proof that God had strengthened him and upheld him. I sat and waited (again) for him to return and wondered how he would look. A nurse came in and handed me his shoes and socks and few loose items. Such a weird feeling. And I really don’t like the smell of hospitals. And the room was dirty. There was no where to set my coffees down. And I needed to text Jesse’s mom. And I needed to text my mom. But all I could do was look for that lovely familiar face to come around that corner. So I could hug and kiss that talking, alert, and coherent man. When he finally did come back, I had to wait (again) for the transport tech to get him situated and she, of course, needed to giggle and ask if she did a good job. “Could you please move so I can get to my man?!?” (Don’t worry I didn’t say it….I just thought it.) Time, traffic, garage parking, medical procedures and now a transport tech had stood in my way long enough. So kiss him, I did. And sit right next to him on the bed, I did. And he talked. And he was alert. And he was coherent. Thank you, God. He told me a few details from his remembering. He tried to remember the order of events. Couldn’t quite piece it all together. I didn’t quite understand it all. He was crossing an intersection when he was hit. He remembers trying to think of the “safest” position to take when being hit. Should he push the bike away from himself? Should he not hold onto the bike but just let it go? He remembers being hit and trying to tuck himself into a fetal position. He got hit by the car, then hit the ground. A double impact. And so here he lay with a neck brace and laying flat, waiting for the results from Xray. I began to really hear and process how God had been fully present in a number of ways during the whole ordeal. The “voice” that called first thing in the morning is a lady from our church (Gloria) that I really don’t know well. She was in a car directly behind the lady that had hit Jesse. She saw the whole thing happen. She was a nurse on her way to work. There was also a doctor in the car directly behind her. And the fire department was across the street. So he had a whole bunch of emergency responders within seconds. Gloria later told me she had taken her anointing oil out of her bag and put it in her pocket that very morning. So when they moved Jesse into the ambulance she said, “Pastor Jesse, do you want me to pray for you?” Of course his response was, “please do”. And so she anointed his head right there in the ambulance and prayed.
The doctor gave a perfect news report. Not a single broken or fractured bone in his entire body. He would be sore….and had some bruises and road rash….but other than that….he was just fine. Really? I mean, SERIOUSLY?!? How is one hit by a car, then flipped in the air (according to Gloria), and then impacted by the ground and…..everything is fine? Words cannot express. I am blown away by the kindness and goodness of God to Jesse, to me, to everyone that calls him family or friend. When I saw him at the hospital, after he gained vertical alignment, the picture of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came to mind. That verse…..”and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” (Daniel 3:27) Jesse had worn those thin athletic shorts and there was not a rip, tear, mark, NOTHING on his clothing indicating this trauma he had been through!! One could look at his clothes and his posture and assume nothing had happened. His skin bears the marks and bruises….but not a single broken anything!!!
I am in awe. He woke up this morning and completely discarded my plea for him to “move slow”, “take it easy”, “let me get your crutches”. He wouldn’t have it. Just up, stretch a few times. He said….”I’ve felt like this after playing a hard basketball game.” There’s no way…..apart from God….that this incident would’ve turned out this way. Gloria told me it was as if God had picked him up and laid him down. She said he flew up and flipped in the air. She knew God did a miracle because seeing what she saw on a human level….should’ve had a completely different outcome.
God did a truly amazing thing yesterday. I am so thankful for anyone that was praying. We felt lifted. We felt surrounded. We felt strengthened by your prayers. We had listened in on the “Voice of the Apostles” Conference going on down in Florida via live stream the night before this accident. Bill Johnson was talking about the incident when Jesus died and the “veil was torn.” And now we live with an open heaven above us….direct access to God and His Kingdom. And so now His Kingdom can come down through open heaven (above us) and directly affect the earthly world around us. So AMAZING!!!!! I know God did that. No doubt. This should’ve had a different outcome. But God was always in control. He changed the course of events that our very real enemy had planned out. Thank you, God. You get ALL the credit and all the praise for this one. You alone did this.