It Only Takes a Second...
It only took a second for me to once again be reminded of just how fragile our lives really are.
I was startled as I was pulling out of my neighborhood this morning when I realized that I had forgotten to kiss my wife, Kristi, good-bye and whisper that I love her before I left for work. It troubled me because it’s something that I always do on my way out of our bedroom. She is usually still in a deep sleep and probably doesn’t even realize that I do it most of the time. It would have set me back minutes to turn around and go back to the house. So I continued to drive on. Besides, I’ll text her later.
As I continued my drive in the dark down a two lane state highway, my car’s headlights suddenly came upon a broken down pick-up truck in the opposite lane. It was totally disabled with absolutely no lights or flashers on. In the second that I passed by it I noticed a man sitting inside. He was only partially pulled off onto the shoulder – still blocking half of his lane. I was angered that he hadn’t pulled completely off, creating a dangerous situation.
Even though there were no other vehicles at that moment, I realized that this was an accident waiting to happen. I used my cell phone to put a call into 911 and report the situation. Of course, within seconds of doing so, the headlights of an oncoming semi-truck appeared as it headed toward the broken down pick-up. I flashed my lights a couple of times in hopes of warning that driver. Before my mind could even think about the ramifications that might occur as that semi came upon the stalled pick-up, a second semi appeared. I could only hope that these trucks would see the disabled vehicle in time to slow down and avoid either slamming into it or having to swerve into the on-coming lane in an attempt to avoid it.
It only took a second as I said a quick prayer for the safety of those folks and hoped for the best as I continued on my drive.
Not 20-minutes into my drive I had found my way onto Interstate 25 and was just merging onto C-470 when I saw numerous emergency vehicles with their lights flashing and lighting up the highway on the opposite side. I could tell that they were positioned such to have all 4 lanes on that side of the highway closed off. As the distance grew near I saw in the lights what remained of a vehicle. I could only imagine the worse had happened to the person or people that were inside.
In that second, in that moment, all of the memories of the accident 7-years ago that claimed the lives of my 19-year-old son, David, and both of my parents once again erupted inside of me. Memories and emotions that I try to forget and keep buried deep inside. It doesn’t happen often, but it only takes a second for something like this to shake me deep enough and find its way to that place. When that hole that remains in my heart and soul is once again opened wide and all of that hurt and pain inside once again erupts. I find it hard to breathe. The pain pours out…along with all of the tears.
I try to push down the emotions and pray for God’s help to make them go away. It doesn’t take a second. I pray for all of those lives that this accident would affect.
Suddenly, in that moment, as often is the case, a song begins to play on the radio. The song is The Hurt and The Healer by MercyMe…Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”
Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide
I am reminded once again of the compassion and love that the Lord has for us during times like these. I am reminded once again how fragile and precious our lives really are. That it only takes a second.
We all go about our daily routines; routines that, in another song sung by Matthew West, are referred to as The Motions. I am reminded how easily our routines, our motions, can quickly be turned upside down in a second by one phone call, one sudden tragedy.
Something as simple and as sudden as a broken down truck in the dark that your loved one doesn’t see until it’s too late. Or by that distracted driver crossing left of center where your loved ones don’t have a chance to react. It doesn’t take much. It happens everyday. And it only takes a second.
We shouldn’t live our lives in fear. But we should remember to truly live our lives. We should always remember how fragile it really is. Try not to forget this.
And always take the time, that precious second, to kiss your loved ones good-bye each day and tell them that you love them. Because for some of us, that will be the last time that you will ever have with them.
It only takes a second. Close