It’s 18 months since my son Vince was helicoptered into ICU in the Loma Linda Trauma hospital in California. He’d been hit off his motorcycle at 65 mph, left with a traumatic brain injury and fractures all over. At Loma Linda he had the best treatment in the world and by God’s grace he was able to walk out of the hospital, unaided, six and a half weeks later. (The story is here https://www.premierchristianity.com/real-life/god-rescued-my-son-from-a-coma-and-healed-him-of-brain-injuries/16114.article).
Earlier this week he was in his truck driving to work and pulled over to answer an email. He was tapping it out when a police officer on a motorcycle stopped alongside. There were the usual licence and document checks, and then the Officer looked up intently at Vince and asked, ‘Have we met before? I’m sure I remember you from somewhere?’ But neither of them could bring anything to mind.
The Officer was going back to his motorcycle when he suddenly stopped, clicked his fingers and walked back, saying ‘I remember! The Northbound 215 last March! You were hit by a hit-and-run driver and I was the Officer who found you, the first on the scene.’
He stepped back and said, ‘When I saw you then I thought you were dead. In my report I said, ‘rider looks deceased’. Now you’re looking so good! Did you need much surgery?’ Vince said some; mainly on his hands, and they talked about his recovery.
Then the Officer asked if he’d ridden a motorcycle since. Vince said no, though he owns a BMW and he’s thought about it once or twice.
The Officer handed him a card with his personal telephone number. He said that his job saw him riding up and down the 215 many times a day. (There were stories he could tell!) If Vince ever felt like riding his motorcycle again to call him, and he would ride alongside him.
It’s a mixed blessing. May God bless the Officer for his kindness, but persuade Vince not to try it again.
Because the accident that almost killed him wasn’t from a lack of skill on his part. When he was younger his bedroom wall was full of Athletic Awards, and he still has an athlete’s spacial awareness, focus and swift reflexes. He’d been riding motorcycles for over 30 years. No – the accident was the fault of the hit and run driver, maybe somebody using his phone, or under the influence, or just allowing himself to be distracted.
There are distinct chapters in all our lives that automatically close when life moves on. And although they can be read, they can’t be lived again, and that’s how it should be.
When God rescued Daniel’s friends from the Lions’ Den, they didn’t think about going back in again. The back of the cave was not a place Elijah wished to revisit. When God took the Israelites out of Egypt he was not best pleased when they murmured about going back. Q.E.D.