“What is that in his mouth?!?” The doctor was looking at X-rays of our youngest son after he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Earlier that afternoon Stephen had awakened from his nap to learn from my mother who was visiting us at the time that Diane and her friend had taken a walk. He went outside and saw the two of them returning, about a block away. I was in the backyard workshop with one of his older brothers when I heard a yell. I paid little attention until I began hearing a loud and insistent wailing sound: “Ohhhh! Ohhh! Oh…”
Oh my, I thought, someone hit a dog. I couldn’t imagine any other explanation. But the wailing continued. Louder. More urgent and earnest. Demanding my attention. I realized something worse had happened – still not knowing what what going on. I ran to the front of the house to discover Stephen lying on the street in front of our house. He had been hit by a car.
Stephen had seen Diane and her friend coming home from their walk and had darted out into the street without looking when the warning cry had rung out: “Stephen! Look out!” Turning back around, he didn’t make it safely back to the curb before the car hit him. The man who was driving had slowed down thankfully, thinking that someone had had a heart attack.
But Stephen was lying on the pavement. Barely moving. Soon the police were there. As we waited for the ambulance the police officer did a very kind thing. He was wearing a jacket with a soft fur collar. He took it off and gently put it under Stephen’s cheek, cushioning his face from the abrasive street pavement. That was a kindness I remember to this day. Something I had completely overlooked in the chaos of the moment.
Soon the ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. There he was examined from head to toe, including a full body set of X-rays. X-rays of his face revealed a dental appliance. It was holding a temporary tooth in place because he had lost that tooth in another accident a few weeks before. I jokingly said they called it an appliance because it could do nothing a real tooth could do but cost as much as a major household appliance! Funny.
We explained all that to the doctor and he laughed. He was able to laugh by that time because we had determined by that time that Stephen, miraculously had suffered no major injuries. We took him home, gave him a warm bath and some Tylenol, and put him to bed. The next day he was moving more slowly than normal, but in a few days he was going full speed again.
When you see your child lying in the street and realize that he’s been hit by a car, you can justifiably experience a moment of high anxiety. But there was another time that was not a momentary crisis. The outcome of that experience actually helped me maintain a relative sense of calm in the face of that events of that day.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:1-5
Sometimes we learn lessons through times of great difficulty that serve us well in times of crises. (Tomorrow…)