August 20, 2009 divided my life and my family's life into two distinct eras: pre-accident and post-accident. That evening I was unwinding from a day at work, fixing a gin & tonic and watching tv with my roommates. A week earlier I had gone with some friends to the Phillips Collection for a showing of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." A great story - A beautiful film - But how sad...Good thing no one I know will ever have to experience such a trial, right? One year ago I heard my brother on the other end of the phone line tell me that "Dad was hit while he was riding his bike, and he might have a broken neck..."
One year ago I stood by my father's body, wondering if he could hear me telling him how much I loved him. One year ago I prayed that he would just live to see the next dawn - that my mother would not awake a widow. One year ago I had no idea what we would be asked to endure. One year ago I did not understand how it could be possible for joy and grief to co-exist, or how one could still praise and love a God who sends such trials.
In the last year I have seen my Savior to be so many enigmas. It is a profound mystery to me that the only hands in which we are truly safe, and from which we can never fall, are the ones that are pierced with holes...and the only hands that make us truly clean are the ones dripping with blood. Perfection can be reflected in imperfect bodies. The hour of suffering can be the hour of most glorious community. And all that He asks, He provides. I have at times prayed for the courage to be more content with mystery. This year has provided some answers to that prayer.
On the anniversary of the accident we gathered together at my parents' house with many friends from the church and the neighborhood who have been Jesus's arms around us over the last year. We bowed our heads and hearts as my Dad - alive and glad - lifted his voice in a prayer of thanksgiving almost a year to the minute since he was struck. Such a difference between that dinnertime and this dinnertime. We rejoice that one Body broken serves to guarantee that a day is surely coming when my Dad's brokenness will not even exist.