Not that I want to call them miracles … but I am watchful of inexplicable events that happen around me. And I’m just wondering out loud if anyone else watches for, sees them, and thinks on them, too. Some are good. Some are scary good. Like the day we were going to our place in Mexico, an eight hour drive from our home.
Pulling our travel trailer for the long drive down, my husband and I came up with an idea we thought was just plain smart. We sent our young college aged friend, Lisa, and our two children, Greg, 5, and Chelsea, not quite 2, to ride in the trailer so the kids could take a nap. We had a CB radio so we could talk to one another in the event they needed anything. Everything was, as they say, “All good.”
About an hour later, knowing the children were fast asleep, a car passed us with the driver and the passengers frantically waving their arms, trying to get our attention, while pointing to our trailer and yelling, “Stop! Stop! You’ve got a problem!!!” As this was happening Lisa’s dead calm voice came on the CB saying, “Boss, would you pull over please?” (serious emphasis on “please”).
We pulled over as quickly as we could. Thinking we must have a flat tire to fix, we walked back to the rig. When we opened the door to the trailer we found Lisa standing by the door. Our son was tucked in as close to her side as possible and our daughter in her arms. She was crying and shaking and clinging to our baby for dear life. Greg had a wide-eyed, mildly panicked look on his face. Chelsea on the other hand, was all smiles. It was an odd scenario to say the least.
Turns out this could have been the worse day of our life.
When we put our Baby Girl down for her nap, we didn’t give it a second thought that there was a window with an emergency exit handle in her bed. There was zero clearance between the mattress and the window. In other words, the mattress ended where the window began. No lip. No nothing. (A testament to the fact that sometimes we humans don’t think things through.) And, while hurtling down the road, with nothing to keep her from falling out the window, our Baby Girl pulled the bright red handle that begged to be pulled and … Boom! … the wind caught the window and ripped it off the trailer.
It was at this point we grew weak in the knees. The sobering, dawning realization of why those people were so frantic. The metal. The broken glass. The little hand waving out the window. Lisa a shaking mass of sheer panic and fear. Life in the balance. Explicable.
But I’m not writing today about the explicable stuff of life … I’m writing about the inexplicable.
Inexplicably our Baby Girl didn’t get pulled out through the window by centrifugal force and thrown on a busy highway. A tragedy of epic proportions. A horrible accident that would have destroyed all our lives. One inexplicably terrible idea led to one inexplicably impossible miracle.
As I look back on it today it’s obvious to me there’s a REASON people, especially babies, should never, under any circumstance ride in travel trailers being pulled down the highway. And, obviously, there is a God. It was His hand that covered the window. His hand that protected our baby. His hand that saved our lives.
Our Baby Girl celebrates her 30th birthday this coming Sunday. With the exception of our learning a very powerful lesson in child safety, very little has changed since that miraculous day. We’re happy to say she never held it against us. She continues to thrill us when she flashes that smile. And we thank our God that she inexplicably chose us to be her parents.
Happy birthday, Chelsea Baby.
We explicitly love you. More.
The healing from the criminal abuse I received as a child, age 13 – 16, took me years to accomplish. With intense focus, focus that required seven long years of continuous work [work that included two solid years of guidance from an extraordinary family counselor], I was free at age 35. At age 40, with only one condition, I was able to forgive my father. The condition? For many justifiable reasons, I chose to remain estranged from him. He died when I was 44.
For many years now, but especially as I make my way towards the winter of my life, I wish things could have been different between us. I wish I would have found it in my heart to not only forgive him but to show him mercy and compassion through the grace of a controlled, adult friendship. However grownup that regret, it does have the benefit of leading me to this post.
I have always been affected by Rwanda.
From the onset, I cried out with despair and understanding. I related to the devastation. The pain. The ultimate evil. I was angry with our government for doing nothing and remaining silent as 800,000 were slaughtered. Our non-involvement only brought back the memories of not having anyone protect me, rescue me, when I was a child. I was disappointed with myself for not bending down and swooping at least six Rwandan children into my arms. I remain embarrassed I allowed my own circumstances [my beloved husband saying, “At 55 I am too old to raise more children … let alone children who have suffered such great abuse”] to trump their desperate need. That said, in its own powerful way, Rwanda defines a lot of my love of life and for my belief in my fellow man.
Here are people who have suffered unspeakable crimes, crimes that make my unspeakable crimes pale in comparison. They are a country, 20 years after the genocide, that continues to heal. They will continue to heal long after the entire generation who survived the horror first hand, have gone to their graves.
It does not escape me that the story I have included in this post (please click the link provided below), touches me as deeply as it does. It is a story of two people, Alice and Emmanuel, that moves me to the most profound of tears. A story of forgiveness of the highest order. As I read the story, I saw two people who were able to do what I was not. To forgive and heal, together and unconditionally. To them, I send all my love, my gratitude and my deepest admiration. They bring me to my knees. They exemplify what it means to be beautifully, impossibly, blessedly human.
Forgiveness. Alice and Emmanuel‘s story takes it to a level of which I can only dream.