Mysterious Ways: The Lucky Accident

What good could come from a motorcycle wreck?

By Pat McKelley, Wooster, Ohio

We’re lucky to be alive, I thought, looking up at the flickering fluorescent light above my hospital bed. My husband, Tim, was recovering in the next bed over. This was hardly how I’d wanted to spend our 31st wedding anniversary–surrounded by beeping heart monitors and dripping IVs.

Tim and I had put months of planning into our special day. We barely saw each other during the week–I worked at a Christian home for abused kids and Tim worked long shifts at a factory–so I was excited to finally have some time with him.

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We hopped on our new, cherry red, Harley Softail, and headed out to a steakhouse to celebrate. I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair, my arms wrapped around Tim’s waist. Then came the sharp turn. The tires skidded on a patch of loose gravel. Tim lost control of the bike. I tumbled through the air… and everything went black.

I woke up with a broken back, four broken ribs, and a punctured lung. Tim needed surgery to put a plate in his head, and both his hands were in casts. The two of us would have to stay home from work for months.

God, I know I wanted more time with him, I thought, looking over at my husband, but this isn’t what I meant!

Our doctor came into the room, Tim’s chart in hand. “It will be a few weeks before we can get Tim scheduled for his surgery. But during his full body scan we saw a dark spot in his pancreas. I think we should get it tested.”

A dark spot? I wondered. Was he injured more than they thought? We quickly agreed to let the doctors look into it. They ran some tests. It was pancreatic carcinoma. Malignant.

Tim and I were shocked. Cancer? How could he be that sick without us knowing? The doctors removed the tumor a few weeks later, after he’d begun to recover from the accident, and scheduled him for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “It’s a good thing we caught it now, before it was too late,” Tim’s oncologist said.

I ended up getting a lot more time to spend with Tim than a few months off work. 14 years, to be exact. Thanks to an accident that saved his life.

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Your Comments (2)

I used to tell my children as they were growing up that God watches over us even when we don't think so. Sometimes it's hard to see why things happen to us if God is watching out and is in charge - then something like this happens. I don't think the motorbike accident was part of God's plan, but surely the extra attention paid to the full body scan results were because someone listened to the whisper in his/her heart to look closely, more closely...a very dear friend of mine lost her mum two years ago to lung cancer.

Three months later my friend became unwell with very different symptoms than those suggestive of lung cancer - but the consultant decided to heed the whisper in his heart (his words after all was done) and because he did, her lung cancer was found. She's been through it with surgery, chemo, and radiation, and the consultant is cautiously optimistic. If she hadn't become unwell with something entirely different (turned out to be food poisoning), if he hadn't listened to the whisper, my friend wouldn't have got timely treatment.

He is ALWAYS with us, always looking over us, and always seeking to turn all things to His purpose, including motorbike accidents, and bad bouts of food poisoning!

All things work together for our good. I have to remind myself of that God promise often. God is always present even when we are going through tough times. God created us to live a happy and abundant live it up to us to keep going and have faith that everything will not only work out but better than we expected.