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SWINDLE COLUMN: A miracle

Summer – A Southern Interstate – 3 p.m.

Bill, his wife, and their children are driving home from a short vacation. Bill is in the back passenger seat next to his oldest daughter. His 12 year old son is in the front passenger seat. It is slightly raining. However, no one is very concerned until the rain gets so heavy that visibility is close to zero.

Bill’s wife slows down in the left lane. All of the sudden, a truck accidentally hydroplanes into the right front bumper of the car.  Bill knows this stretch of road well; particularly the thousands of five foot thick pine trees that have killed so many people in the past.

The vehicle collusion jolts everyone. But, the car is pushed to the left toward the thinnest row of very small pines. There is no human explanation regarding what happened. The vehicle tire tracks showed a direct path to the trees, which would have been fatal or worse. Instead, at the last minute, the car slid into a shallow ditch.

That would be understandable if inertia and gravity had the car moving in that direction. But, the car should have spun out in the opposite direction toward the pines. The accident diagram defies science.

This accident would change Bill and his family for the rest of their lives. How?

Some folks, including me, can take life for granted. After the accident, Bill told me that as he saw the trees rapidly approaching, he had one instant prayer; “God, please take me in the place of my wife and children.”

WHAM! The wreck happens. Bill is the first person to get out of the vehicle. He quickly pulls the others out in case the car explodes. Somehow, the family walks away from what should have been a tragedy.

What happens next is shocking as well. Bill calls a wrecker on a Sunday in the middle of rural Georgia. Someone answers and promises to be there in 30 minutes. 

In the meantime, law enforcement spends more time calming Bill’s children than anything else. The young officer, trained by the Georgia State Patrol, holds Bill’s younger son by the hand. He would not let go until Bill hugged his brave little boy.     

I don’t believe that Bill will ever forget the kindness and goodness his family was shown that afternoon and night by multiple strangers. I do believe that the miracle changed Bill’s perspective on life itself and the importance of seeking God’s will.    His children will not forget this miracle either. They witnessed multiple law enforcement officers and medical personnel work as a team, as opposed to individuals working by themselves.   

I do not know why God chose to save this family. I do know that this was a true miracle that only God could make happen.