Thursday, November 15, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
*You might want to grab a cup of coffee because this is a long one:)
Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis probably already knows that my dad, my touchstone, recently suffered a heart attack which was followed by quadruple bypass surgery. My dad has made many strides in his recovery and is doing so much better now. His recovery, and not the episode which led up to it, is what I attribute to God. As I explained in my previous post, I believe that my father was given a second chance at life because his work on this earth is not yet complete. That being said, I do not believe that my father's heart attack was caused by God. Heart attacks are acts of nature, just as hurricanes or earthquakes or tornadoes are.
The heart attack seemed to just be the tipping point for us. The vehicle in the photograph above used to belong to Angel Daughter Number Two. I say that it used to belong to her, because some brainless schmuck chose to get behind the wheel of a car drunk, and then proceeded to plow into the front of my daughter's car head-on, very late one night a couple of weeks ago. She sensed him coming but it was too late. He hit her in such a way that her car uncontrollably spun around a full 360 degrees deploying the airbags and leaving her stunned and in pain as she tried to put together the pieces of what had just happened. From out of nowhere, a young man on a bicycle ran to her aid helping her out of the vehicle and retrieving her cellphone from inside so that she could call for help. When AD2's boyfriend arrived on the scene, the driver admitted to him that he had been drinking. The drunk remained on the scene for several minutes until AD2 noticed him limping across the road and then, out of sight, leaving nothing but his vehicle behind.
|*Notice my suitcase still yet to be unpacked in the background.|
By Tuesday, Micah was in surgery to replace his torn ACL with metal pins.
And somewhere in the midst of all of this, my husband managed to fracture his wrist in two places.
And you know what my mantra was for the entire time that all of this was taking place? It can always be worse. There was nothing facetious about this. No sarcasm. No blaming God. No believing that the Lord had been particularly harsh on my family as a way to "punish" us for my gay-loving, non-Christian, Jewish, moderately liberal, moderately conservative views.
It was my choice and my belief to focus on where I know God is in all of this. It is for the same reason that I know that God did not bring Hurricane Sandy down on the lives of all of the people who live in the sixteen states that were affected by such a mega force of nature to punish them. Because no matter how bad things might seem, they can always be worse. And no matter how difficult the storms that we must face might seem at the time that they are happening, there are always angels, even human beings with invisible wings or bicycles who will swoop in to help or to rescue or to lend a hand. No, crazy woman who had the audacity to write that God used the tragedy of a megastorm to punish whomever happened to reside in its way, God did not create the hurricane in order to express His anger.
A hurricane is an act of nature.
A heart attack is an act of nature.
A broken wrist or a torn ACL, both acts of nature.
A drunk driver barreling down the road without concern for anyone but his own need to get where he is going impaired out of his mind, that is an unfortunate and evil act of free-will.
But a surgeon who can repair a badly damaged heart and save a life,
millions of people coming together to support those who were traumatized and damaged and devastated by a storm,
people putting their own lives at risk with barely a thought for their own safety in order to rescue others,
a veterinary surgeon who can replace the ACL of a dog with staples and pins so that he can run again,
a stranger on a bicycle who stops in the middle of the night to come to the aid of someone else's daughter,
that is where God is.
The photo above is of AD2 and Micah, now. They are both still dealing with the after effects of what they have been through, but they are healing and safe and alive. The little red car in the photo is AD2's new Prius Hybrid. The insurance company declared her other car totaled after the accident and sent her a check almost immediately. There is an investigator assigned to her case and he is going to find the driver of the vehicle that could have killed my daughter. Things can definitely always be worse.
Through it all, there are always wonderful moments intertwined with the difficult ones. Here are just a few. These are the moments that remind me of where God is in the mix.
Angel Daughter Number Four, our tiny dancer, asked me to come observe as she taught some dance classes. As I sat there observing, several of the parents who were also observing their own students began talking about what an incredible teacher AD4 is. They did not realize that I was there to watch her and that I am her momma. I just sat there and smiled.
My prayers go out to the many people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. May you find strength in each other. May you find healing in the rebuilding of your lives, and may you find peace in the moments that remind you that things can always be worse. Oh yes, they can.