True Story

car on roof

“Units respond to a 901-T, injury collision, in RD 52 at the corner of Santa Mariana and La Roca, vehicle into private residence at that location.”

I was rarely dispatched to an accident involving injuries in a quiet residential neighborhood, let alone at 2:00 a.m., but when I heard the call broadcast, my mind immediately pictured the interior residential streets where one elbowed into another.

As I arrived on scene I saw rubber tire transfers on the curb, tire tracks across a beautifully manicured lawn, more tire marks on a raised brick planter that was damaged, but the car was missing. Was it a hit and run?

I shined my spotlight toward the house on what had been a large living room window, yet there was no glass in place on the enormous opening. Could a car fly into the home, through the window frame, without further damaging the front of the house? Yes it could! Honestly, this is a true story!

I walked up to the scene, through shards of broken glass, and witnessed a red Pontiac Fiero sitting atop a crushed mini-grand piano in the living room. The piano had been pushed forward, and bulldozed through the drywall, which encroached the master bedroom. Sitting on the couch, in a pool of his own urine, was the sixteen-year old male driver who was scared to death. Once I confirmed he was all right, I walked around the corner and into the master bedroom and found a middle-aged gentleman in his underwear, writhing on the ground in pain, suffering back spasms. His terrified wife confirmed they were asleep when the car came crashing into the house, landed on the piano, which propelled through the wall, knocking them out of bed.

The young man sitting motionless in the living room had been at a party, and was obviously intoxicated. As I conducted a DUI investigation, he cried for his father, who arrived on scene a short time later.

When the father arrived, he demonstrated unconditional love for his son, but reminded him there would be legal consequences for his actions. The victim who was knocked out of bed was a local pastor. As the case proceeded to court, he too demonstrated support and offered forgiveness. Yet even with the love of the father, and forgiveness from the victim, there were still legal and civil consequences for the young man.

How often do we find ourself in similar circumstances? We’ve done something foolish that wreaked havoc, and sitting in a mess we cry out for our heavenly Father?

The point I’d like to make is that God offers forgiveness and unconditional love, but we should not expect him to erase the consequences of our actions. Indeed he will help us rebuild and reconcile broken relationships, but the Hollywood illusion of rewinding the clock so the damage can be undone is not realistic.

As we ask for God’s mercy and the forgiveness of those we’ve harmed, we should also seek his guidance in picking up the pieces and moving forward. We cannot symbolically sit in a pool of urine as an uninvolved spectator, hypnotically watching the havoc we’ve created. We need to take steps to remedy our damage and pursue reconciliation.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16a).

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

-Jim

#crazycrashes #dontdrinkanddrive #truestory

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