Certainties on the Field of Battle and Blessing

by Andy Wood on May 7, 2015

in Five LV Laws, Life Currency, Love, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance, Protecting Your Investment, Turning Points

Wreck 2

Why?

It’s the favorite question of three-year-olds, because at three you’re still innocent enough to believe it always merits an answer.

But as time passes and our “whys?” become more sophisticated, we begin to understand that there are often multiple layers and perspectives of answers to that question.

Then sometimes there is no answer at all.  At least no answer that will ever satisfy our demand to know what on earth (or heaven or hell) is going on.

I don’t know why, and probably never will, somebody decided to stop dead still with no lights of any kind on in the fast lane of a freeway in New Orleans – just around a little curve.

I don’t know why, and probably never will, that had to take place just ahead of me.

I don’t know why, if such an appointment was necessary, it couldn’t have taken place during one of the many times I’ve cruised that stretch of highway alone, instead of when I was driving with my daughter and two grandsons.

I don’t know why, and probably never will, that high-speed rear-end collision turned into a hit-and-run.  I hit and he ran, never to be seen or heard from again.

The Face, Love, and Kindness of Jesus

Often, though, our most profound unanswered questions produce experiences of faith, hope and love that we would never have found any other way. And for all the things I couldn’t explain in the hours following the crash, I personally discovered the face, love, and kindness of the Lord Jesus, manifested in ways I feel unworthy to describe.

Like Junior, for example, who was first to stop to help.  He was coming home from his church revival service.  He called 911, made sure we all were OK and didn’t need an ambulance, then with all that smoke and steam bellowing out from under what once was my hood, insisted that we get the heck out of the truck.  Then he took his phone flashlight and waved down traffic to try to idiot-proof the scene as much as he could.  Junior also made sure the police officer and I knew that I saw what I saw – that I wasn’t making this up or was crazy.  How do you say thanks for the man who not only helped us, but protected us from further injury?

Then there was the young man who was about half my size, who could squeeze into the bent driver’s-side door time after time to retrieve phones and kids’ blankets and whatever else we needed while we waited.  Or the other man – a quiet, kind local (if you’re from the Crescent City you know what that means) who, for the longest time, just sat in the little rock garden in the median with my daughter and her 3- and 5-year-old.  I never got either of their names.  How do you say thanks to the men who not only served us, but were content to remain anonymous in the process?

Then there was the son and father who were driving in the lane next to ours and saw the whole thing.  I believe he said his name was Jason.  They saw it all, went to the next exit and came back to report to the police what they saw. Then they stayed and waited with me. They carried luggage and car seats and me to the hospital to check up on my passengers to make sure everybody was OK. And they refused to leave until they were sure we were all reunited and had all our luggage together in the ER.  How do you adequately say thanks to men who delighted – absolutely delighted – in going way beyond decency and kindness and demonstrated everything Jesus once described in the Good Samaritan?

Of course there were the professionals…

  • The police officer who explicitly cleared me of any fault legally and offered encouragement and guidance.
  • The EMTs – fire and ambulance – who checked us all out and carried the rest of the crew to the ER.
  • The doctors and nurses at New Orleans East Hospital, who made sure they received excellent care.
  • The security officers who took the unusual nature of our brief stay, with all that luggage and stuff, completely in stride.
  • The taxi driver who spent about an hour with me as we made a midnight run to Walmart for new car seats, then back to the hospital, then back to the hotel.
  • Karayan Willis, the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express, who, when we continually ran into dead ends while trying to rent a car, not only provided bottled water and cookies for snacks for the boys, but checked our status and made sure we knew we still had our room available (paid for) for another night. That turned into badly-needed naps for the boys.

Then there was the exclamation point to the whole experience – the greatest taxi driver in history, as far as I’m concerned.  I should pause to point out that in this whole ordeal, I met the devil twice.  The first time I plowed into his ornery butt on I-10 East. The second time I spent 15 hours trying to find a car to rent to get us all home.  It was evil.

At the crown of all that, I called United Cab service, and after a 45-minute wait, I had a divine appointment with Allende Williams.  It’s the Chilean pronunciation, he told me – Ah-YEN-day.  Less than a minute in his ride and I knew he was a brother in the Lord.  And for 15 minutes we had church in his cab.  He celebrated God’s protection over us, refreshed and encouraged me, reminding me of the amazing care of the Lord for His children.

Then he asked, “Would it be OK if I prayed for you?”

“Fire away,” I said.  And there as we ascended the I-10 High-Rise, he carried us up on wings like eagles into the presence of the Lord.  It was an incredible few moments of fellowship in the purest, deepest sense of the word.  And did I mention… absolute joy?  He had an infectious laugh and an authentic faith that made him instantly approachable – and memorable for a lifetime.  He told me I made his day.

Surely he was looking in the mirror.

Certainties to Stand On

Many “whys” from this experience remain, and will never be answered to my satisfaction.  But I do know some things even more certainly now than I did before.

I know what I have a Shepherd, who leads me to green pastures and still waters.  He also leads me into the valley of the shadow of death.  But while He’s preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies, He’s also surrounding me with a whole new group of friends.

I know that I have an enemy, who seeks to steal, and kill, and destroy. I also have a Savior who came to give me life in abundance.  But some experiences of abundance are only found when we’ve marched (or driven) into the enemy’s camp.

I know more than ever that I am part of a global army of the meek, compromised of ordinary people who are capable of extraordinary things, and are still capable of rising to the occasion and surprising me at just the time I needed them the most. And I know that one day, probably sooner than later, I will have an opportunity to repay their kindness forward.

“I hope we meet again,” Allende said as I stepped out of his cab.  We both knew that this side of heaven, that is unlikely.

“We will,” I replied with joy… “Here, there, or in the air…”

And I left the field of battle and blessing to the sound of his infectious laughter.

Who cares about “Why” when I get to discover a rich source of “Who and “What” like that?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake May 8, 2015 at 11:52 pm

So thankful you guys weren’t hurt. What an incredible story though of how God took what the enemy used against you and made it a beautiful scenario in the end. Thankful for you Andy!

Patty J. May 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

wow! God is good, all the time! Praise Him for all of those He placed in your path through this event. Blessings and prayers for full recovery of all involved.
Blessings,
Patty J.

Joyce Gerald May 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm

WOW, Dr. Wood! Once again our awesome God proves himself to be our protector and defender. I am so blessed by this post. He is indeed our deliverer. I am so glad that you are ok. I was wondering what was going on with you. Be blessed. I will be praying for you and so will the ministry prayer team.
Joyce Gerald´s last blog post ..Integrity check

Bob Hudson May 11, 2015 at 8:22 am

Hello Dr. Wood,

I’m so glad things turned out well in the end. What a great story of God’s protection and how he tended to you and your family through the lives of others. I hope the aches and pains have subsided by now and that you are back in the swing of things. My son and I graduated from LU on Saturday… a truly special time.

I’ll keep referring to your LifeVesting site. I sincerely enjoy your writing.

Best regards,
Bob Hudson

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