My 9-year-old was hit by a car.
We were early for church, and I had told him he could ride his scooter in the parking lot while his little brother finished taking a nap in the car. He excitedly got out the scooter and assured me he would be careful. I remember looking at his happy eyes, giving him a big smile, and saying how very much I loved him. I didn’t know how thankful I would be that those were the last words I chose at that moment.
I began reading my Bible and drinking my coffee, enjoying that relaxing, quiet time after the normal busyness of getting out the door on a Sunday morning.
About five minutes later I heard the scream and moans of pain.
As is typical, the next moments felt like slow motion.
I got out of the car and saw him lying on the pavement. I tried to rush to him but felt like I was moving so very slowly.
I came beside him and took everything in. He had been kneeling down to tie his shoe in a handicapped parking space, thinking he would be out of the way of any cars. His dark grey sweatshirt had blended into the pavement so much that the driver of the car did not even notice him there and bumped into him.
As he lay on the ground crying, so many thoughts and emotions went through me . . .
Is he OK? Did he break any bones? Is he going to be paralyzed?
Thank You, Jesus, that he’s alive!
How could I let this happen to him? What a terrible mother I am!
Thank You, Jesus, that the last words I said were loving!
After a while, he was able to get up, shaky, and experiencing a lot of pain in his back. We took him to the doctor who assured us he was alright aside from some bruises and scratches.
Needless to say, we all felt traumatized. It was a needed reminder to me of the fragility of this life.
Even if we feel we are doing everything right, it only takes a split second for our entire world to shift and even feel like it has completely crumbled. On this beautiful, yet broken, fragile earth we must place our hope in something secure. And the only true security I know of is found in Jesus Christ.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . . .” (Hebrews 6:19).
This time on earth is just a vapor, and I know deep down that no sadness or heartache can compare with the joy of eternity. So I want to hold each little moment up against the mirror of eternity and ask how Jesus wants me to respond. When I’m irritated with one more thing added to my never-ending to-do list, when my child shows ungratefulness, when I’m late again, when I’m let down, disappointed, misunderstood . . . how can I respond in those fleeting moments, knowing that an eternity of pure joy, peace, and perfection is just a breath away?
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14).
I’m so thankful the words I said to my son before his accident were loving ones.
I’m thankful I had recently taken time out of my week to have a date just with him. I’m thankful I know he knew how valuable and irreplaceable he was to me. And I’m so thankful that fleeting moment looking into his happy eyes in the car wasn’t the last one I had with him.
But one day, there will be a last moment because that’s the way it’s meant to be, and there’s something so much greater ahead.
So I want to treasure each tenuous moment here. And I want to use every breath I have to love well and praise the Eternal One who breathed it into me.