Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 19, 2008

Abundant Grace

I am on the road again this week — not to some far off remote location on the other side of the planet, but to the familiar place my heart calls home. I don’t make this trip as often as I should, but I am always grateful for the loving embraces when I arrive. My journey home takes me past a particular spot that is marked only on the map of my heart, a once brush-covered piece of geography next to what used to be a two-lane county road: the place where I almost lost my life.

The events of that day in 1977 are still embedded on the front pages of my memory. It was a beautiful day as I cruised home from college in my old ‘62 Chevy Malibu. In the distance I noticed a car on the shoulder of the road. As I approached, the driver suddenly veered back onto the road in an attempt to make a U-Turn. The elderly driver did not see me. My foot never made it to the brake pedal and I only had a second to turn the steering wheel one tiny fraction to the left before impact.

The impact was horrific. I hit the steering wheel with my head. My glasses flew off my face and lodged in the shattered windshield. Dazed, I instinctively unbuckled my lap belt and fell out of the car. As I sat in a pool of my own blood a Texas Highway patrolman ran up. “I was following behind you,” he said, “and saw what happened.” He immediately took measures to stop the bleeding. Seconds later a woman came running. “I am a nurse,” she shouted to the patrolman. She had just finished her shift and was on her way home — in the car behind the patrolman! I had seen neither car in my rear-view mirror. Together they cared for me until the ambulance arrived.

When the paramedics wheeled me into the hospital, a woman looked at me and screamed “Oh my God,” and then made the sign of the cross and hurried away. The first thing the emergency room doctor said to me was, “I know a great plastic surgeon.” The nurses were instructed to keep me away from mirrors. I felt encouraged! But, God used stitches and time to heal me. The elderly driver did not suffer a scratch. My car looked like it had been mangled by a dinosaur. It’s a miracle I survived.

I have made many trips home since the accident. Every time I approach that location on McColl Road I shudder. More than once I have pulled over onto the shoulder of the road to reflect on what I experienced there and to thank God for the patrolman and the nurse who cared for me. And then, a few years ago, I saw the unexpected. A church had purchased the land at the exact location where I had my accident and marked the spot with a sign: Future home of Abundant Grace Community Church. I wept. I am the grateful beneficiary of His abundant grace.

I am so thankful that my route home takes me past Abundant Grace Community Church. I have a spot on their parking lot where I stop to reflect on that fateful day in 1977. In my quiet moments there I thank God for all of the journeys I have been able to take because of His abundant grace. I also take a moment to reflect on the day I will take my final journey — the journey to my heavenly home. I know that I’ll arrive there safely because of His amazing and abundant grace.


Responses

  1. Omar,

    Each of us are graced with poignant memories etched on our hearts. When I was five years old I became detached from my father’s hand on a busy street in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I remember pulling back to look at something in a store window. When I turned around my dad was nowhere to be found. I merely took off and walked several miles home. I remember lacking fear and somehow knowing exactly how to get to where I needed to go.

    As someone who can get lost in her own backyard today…. Amazing Grace. smile

    Tammy

  2. In 1980, I was lost at dhaka. 11 years old boy i am that time. I came dhaka with one of my reletives. he took me at market. because of so many people and big crowd I have losted. when I have found my self I am lost. I start crying.and walking unknoing ways. almost end of the day one the guye he fined me and he from same village I come from. and I knew him well. finaly he took me at my home.

    In the year 1987 I was in boat, big boat can cary 300 pasengers. at night was Robberining in the boat. robbers tooket money, all the stuffs, finaly their get down all the people in the water in River, and took boat. all started swiming in river at night. some could come to the land some could not and died. I have not died that night, that’s why I am stil a life until now.

    Life in Him all the times.

    Mortuza
    Dhaka

  3. […] years later His grace still amazes me. As a young man I almost lost my life in an automobile accident on my way home from college. As I lay bleeding by the side of the road, a highway patrolman and a […]


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