A few years back, an acquaintance of mine dropped her kids at a friend’s house and hit the local bar. After a few hours and way too many drinks, she jumped behind the wheel of her SUV. Going way too fast, she drove straight into a huge oak tree. With no seat belt on, the impact sent her onto the steering column, puncturing an artery and compressing her lungs. Another driver saw the whole thing, called the ambulance, and waited outside the car. Certain she was dead, he didn’t even try to get her out of the car.
She should have died, but the car’s dashboard compressed her body enough to stop the bleeding. She was taken out of the car and flown to Boston. She awoke several days later, damaged, with a long road to recovery ahead, but still alive.
Some said she was lucky because she lived through it; others said she was unlucky to have the crash in the first place. I don’t think she was either because I don’t think it was really an accident. For whatever reason, she put herself in harm’s way – who knows whether she intended to hit the tree or just didn’t care enough about her life to call a cab rather than drive drunk. Either way, this was a desperate act.
But miracles happen. For whatever reason, she was given her life back, given a second chance to honor the grace and holiness of her life. She spent many months in the hospital, then returned to her life – home, children, worries, and blessings.
I’ve often wondered what she thought, waking up to a second chance. It was a very real opportunity to live an almost literally resurrected life. She must have seen it for the holy gift that it was because she never did such a thing again.
I’ve never had such an experience, but every morning I wake up I have the same question and the same choice: what will I do with this life that’s been handed to me once again? Will I see it for the holy gift it is? Mine is an ordinary life, but it’s also a living, breathing resurrection. So is everyone else’s.
Let’s hope I live a life worthy of such a blessing.