That's When I Heard the Crashing Sound...
The first incident happened around 1967 when I was about 9 years old. My 8-year-old brother and I were with our dad going to the hardware store to pick up a few items for one of my dad's projects.
We pulled up in front of the store in our 1966, four-door Chevy station wagon. Our dad told us to wait in the car as he was only going to be a few minutes. For my brother and me, that wasn't a problem because, you see, we were typical boys.
Now picture yourself in a car with no parents around. There are knobs to push, levers to pull, wheels to turn and pedals to stomp. Another thing about this station wagon was that it was big! We could climb around all the way to the back window. It was like an amusement park inside that car.
Not only were we typical boys, we were also typical brothers. I still remember wrestling for control of the front seat while my brother was in the back seat trying to climb over into my territory.
That's when I saw it. For some reason I stopped wrestling with my brother momentarily and watched out the back window as a truck drove by pulling an empty boat trailer. For some reason, I just kept watching, and all of a sudden, the trailer came unhitched from the truck. I not only watched the boat trailer come unhitched, but saw it slow down, pivot around and start to head straight for our station wagon.
I noticed it approaching about 30 feet from the car, heading toward the back window of the driver's side. I decided to react. I grabbed my brother by his jacket and tried unsuccessfully to pull him into the front seat. Then I turned and ducked down on the front passenger seat, pulling my jacket hood over my head.
That's when I heard the crashing sound of the trailer tongue going through the window. After it got quiet, I popped up and noticed my brother slumped over the bench seat. He popped up and we both turned toward the back door. We could barely move. The trailer tongue was halfway inside the car.
Excited yet frantic, we got out of the car and ran inside the store. We found our dad and told him what had just happened. He looked at us as if we were aliens from Mars.
That's about the time my dad noticed a slight cut and a little blood along the midline of my brother's throat. He asked if we were okay and we said "yes." My dad stood there in amazement looking at the trailer tongue stuck inside the back window of his car. He couldn't believe what had just happened, and how we had been protected as if angels were watching over us (Psalm 91:11).
The Garbage Run
About a year later during the hot summer, we missed getting the garbage cans out to the curb for pickup, so we had to make a run to the dump to empty the cans ourselves. Our dad, my brother, a neighbor friend and I all went along in his '57 pickup truck. Just like typical young boys, to us a garbage run to the dump was an adventure.
After emptying the garbage, we headed back home along the landfill dirt road. In those days we used to ride in the bed of the pickup. My brother stood on top of a spare tire looking over the cab. I was sitting on top of the driver's side wheel well, while our longtime friend was sitting on the other side.
The next thing I knew the pickup went over a small embankment and rolled over one-and-a-half times. I still remember lying on my back and looking between my legs as the truck went over top of me.
We were all thrown into the grass and marsh area of the landfill. After the truck stopped rolling, I remember looking back and seeing our neighbor friend scrambling back up the edge to the road. One of us began to yell out names to see if the others were all right. When the truck settled into the marsh on its side, my brother, my dad and I managed to climb up the short hill to the road where our friend was waiting. My dad asked if we were all okay. We all said "yes." There was barely a scratch on any of us.
I found out later that my dad had a hydraulic jack inside the cab when it started to roll. I was surprised it never hit him.
Maybe these accidents and God's miraculous protection were a wake-up call and a turning point in my dad's life. It was roughly a year later that he decided to respond to God's calling and try to keep the commandments of God that he was learning about and to pass this truth onto his family (Acts 2:38-39). This became a turning point in my life as well.
God works in our lives even before He calls us. Perhaps you have your own stories of miraculous occurrences and close calls. Sometimes God works through trials; sometimes, through miracles; and sometimes, through both. I'm sure the seriousness of these accidents and the obvious protection God provided stirred questions and the spark of faith in my dad's mind. Perhaps your stories stirred questions in your mind too.
God plants those seeds of faith. He provides us with examples to build our faith, both in the Bible and in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Our job is to then grow in faith and to fight off the enemies of faith. For help in this vital process, take time to study the inspiring and helpful booklet You Can Have Living Faith. UN