Journal Entry October 17, 2009
Grisly accident scenes of mangled cars and bodies litter highways all over our country. Rubbernecking further turns our freeways into stressful, bumper-to-bumper commutes to home or work.
My husband and I had a close encounter with a real collision this past summer right down the block from out neighborhood, one which we will never forget. I hope my experience assisting the victims of this horrendous crisis. will make you think twice before getting behind the wheel of your car while angry, drunk or under the influence.
We were full from a fine meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant and were on our way home to go to bed. My thoughts and prayers were on my family and loved ones who were struggling with their life issues. We were about to make our right turn onto Spring lake Boulevard, when high-beamed headlights veered into our lane. Mark lay on the horn and mumbled out loud,
He suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the shoulder. I was wide awake now.
” Hold on, something’s going on up there,” he pointed to the intersection, then rushed out of the car. Straining to see through the darkness, car hazard lights flashed. In a minute Mark was back, a look of concern on his face.
“There’s a bad accident up there. Get over there quickly and see if anyone needs help. It looks like someone’s about to die.”
Adrenaline rushed and panic gripped me as I made my way through what seemed like a thick, acrid smoke wafting through the night air.
“Lord, help me. Give me wisdom and strength, ” I whispered out loud. I had no idea what I was going to see. With bare feet, I tip-toed through the glass-littered road. In my haste to attend the victims, I’d forgotten to slip on my flip-flops.
To my horror, an overturned van lay impotent in the middle of the road. It’s front end was completely sheared off! My heart raced wildly and my eyes misted as I surveyed the grisly and chaotic scene before me. It was eerily quiet in light of the violence of the impact that most certainly happened only minutes earlier. As I stepped closer to the van, a blood-soaked man lay motionless on his side. I stopped, paralyzed, then turned to see Mark waving his arms to stop oncoming traffic. My senses took in all the ominous sights, smells and sounds, but I was most aware of the smell of burning rubber still billowing from both impotent vehicles. To the side of the road shoulder, a tiny souped-up sport car lay impotent on its side. It’s front end had also been torn off. A man was crying out loud for help as I stared, speechless at the injured man at the van.
Mark rushed up to me, “What are you doing? We’ve got injured people here?”
I struggled to get my senses together. Mark called out to me again as he rushed back to attend the traffic.
“That one over there,” he said pointing to the man in front of me.
“Lord, help me to attend your healing to this man….I speak life to this body…life.” The man groaned softly as I continued to pray and speak life over his body. Although my mind recoiled in utter sadness, I believed even more in Jesus’ power to heal the man. I continued to speak to my Heavenly Father on behalf of this unfortunate stranger who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Precious Jesus, please help us. In your name, this man is healed. We ask you to be here with us.” I bent down and stroked the mans shoulder.
“You’re going to be fine. Jesus is here with us. You’re going to be fine.“ A calmness settled over us as my voice repeated the soothing refrain. I knew all would be well. My thoughts were racing as my emotions got caught up with the hostile drama around me. Had I not believed that angels were surrounding and ministering to the man and me, I would not have had strength to help anyone. I continued to pray, but was also aware of the smell of blood and acrid smoke. A young EMT interrupted my thoughts.
“Sir, can you get to your feet?”
This young man thought this gravely injured man could stand to his feet? But he did. groaning and lurching forward. I grabbed his arm to steady him against the van. Again, I knew the Lord was assisting me as I held the man against the van.
“Thank you, Jesus. Thank You Jesus.” I continued to stroke the mans shoulder and softly encouraged him that he would be fine. I could tell he was having great difficulty keeping conscious, because he trembling. I knew that keeping a calm composure as possible could mean the difference between his surviving or dying. Blood continued to pour from the back of his head, but he kept steady. The other passenger with him in the van approached us and asked the mans name.
“Does he speak English?” The injured man nodded is head and mumbled that his name was Ahmed
I kept soothing. “Jesus is here with us. Don’t be afraid. It’ll be okay,” Finally another EMT pushing a stretcher toward us.
“Keep him steady,” He positioned a collar around his neck. I continued to pray for the man even as ambulances, police cars and a fire truck approached the intersection. Ahmed was laid on a stretcher. My job was done with him and I started off to address the needs of the other accident victim still trapped inside his silver sports car, now merely a twisted heap of metal.
“Lord, touch this man and bring wholeness and peace to this situation,” I decreed out loud as I approached the small car. A man was screaming fearfully. as I inched closer to see what his injuries were. Through the open window, I saw no legs. I prayed they weren’t amputated underneath the crushed dashboard and steering wheel.
“Help me…Oh God someone… help me,” he cried out.
“It’s okay. I’m here. It’s gonna be okay,” I opened the passenger door and peered in. To my relief, I saw no blood or severed limbs, just a frightened, disoriented young man shaking his head back and forth.
“Hello. Are You okay?” I asked again.
“Where am I? What happened?” he kept sobbing. “I can’t feel my legs…Oh God!”
“What happened?” I asked in concern, “ Did You fall asleep at the wheel?”
“Ahhhh…..I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden I’m here. Get me outta here,” He continued to wail hysterically. I kept praying for God’s peace and wisdom to calm him and wisdom on how to address his needs.
“It’s okay, Jesus is here. He sent his angel to comfort you. Be not afraid,” I was amazed at how God was bringing peace to the situation, a healing balm that calmed both him and me.
“You’re gonna be okay. God has sent my husband and me to help you.”
“God sent you? Oh, no. Am I gonna hear another sermon?” he groaned.
”I’ve heard enough preaching this week.”
Could God be giving this guy a wake up call? I thought upone heraing his words.
“God knows exactly what’s going on here and He loves you.”
The man started to cry.
“Do you live here in Country Lakes? What is your name?”
“Cool. My ex bass players name was Lance. You’re gonna be fine, Lance,” I stroked his arm again. “My name’s Angel, Lance. God sent you an angel tonight” He started to cry again and grabbed my arm.
“I’m so glad you came here to help me, Angel.”
A policeman, EMTs and firemen with extrication equipment approached us and told me to be on my way. Other police officers blocked Route 70 and a helicopter made its way towards the accident victims who would be transported to the nearest trauma center and hospital.
I took one last look at the scene and walked across the highway to where Mark was talking with a young couple. They’d seen the moment of impact. Other drivers also witnessed the accident, but sped away. The husband was angry that anyone could be so cruel and just pass by accident victims in need of help. He also thanked us for being kind Samaritans who were willing to stop and help out.
Mark and I headed towards home, thankfully just minutes from the accident. We were drained but God had guided us so beautifully that night, using us as His hands, heart and feet. I felt humbled and honored to be his angel and servant.
That night, as Mark and I prepared for sleep, he shared with me what the couple told him about the driver who caused the accident.
The young man was stationed at Fort Dix and had a huge fight with his girlfriend. He went to the local bar and got drunk, speeding down Spring lake Boulevard in a fit of rage at about 70 miles an hour. The who spoke to Mark said they saw no brake lights or skid marks. The man just barreled through the stop sign at the very moment an airport van was traveling east on Route 70. The impact caused the van to spin completely in the opposite direction they were headed for!
The victim most injured just happened to be arriving in the US from the Middle East. Mark also told me that when he first saw the man laying on the side of the van, he couldn’t see his head and though he was decapitated. When he looked closer, the impact had gauged a massive hole in his scull. I’m glad I hadn’t seen it because I might have fainted.
I’m foerver impacted by this expereince and pray that there will be much more awareness about safe and courteous driving I have yet to see any public awareness campaigns for reckless, road rage. I’ll forever remember the grace, strength, comfort and loving presence of my Heavenly Father that so intervened to all involved.
I hope my song, “In the Blink of an Eye, (DUI) will bring about concern and a testimonial to the dangers of reckless driving. This song is a powerful and sobering message to the American people about the necessity of driving etiquette and awareness. Text messaging, cell phone use and DUI has claimed the lives of thousands of precious loved ones and permanently maimed thousands more!
I can’t stress enough the urgency of safe, courteous and “thoughtful” driving. I take my driving as seriously as I do my career, marriage and worship of God. People need to re-assess their attitude of defensive and safe driving. I’ve seen astounding incidences of leisurely, careless driving every day on our NJ highways and roads. Inattentiveness abounds, especially while conversing on cell-phones.
What will it take for people to wake up. That critically injured foreigner probably never expected to have his life change in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a second to take your eyes off the road or cut some one off and cause a pile up on the free way. Just one second…..
May we honor the lives of all as we drive to our destinations for the sake of spouses, children and/or loved ones.
Drive as if your life depended on it!