Saturday, July 17, 2010

17 JUL 10: Highway 80 Angels

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following item humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)

"I'd rather be preaching a sermon this afternoon," the man told me from his emergency room bed. You can always tell which people are the preachers. They're the adults most ready and willing to talk, when a TV camera shows up....

But this church pastor never made it to the worship service last weekend to preach. He was driving toward Columbus on U.S. 80 when his Jimmy went out of control around the Talbot County line. The vehicle rolled sideways at least twice -- which is not exactly the way pastors want to become known as "holy rollers."

Pastor Ken Martin lives in Macon, and has a two-congregation circuit each weekend -- mornings in Macon, afternoons in Columbus. When he didn't show up in Columbus by the end of the sermonette, one man guessed he might be "caught in traffic." Looking back, they might have been right -- if angels caught his vehicle and stopped it.

Several cell phone calls determined the pastor was in a wreck, and taken to The Medical Center. Since the pastor was driving by himself, I'm not sure how congregation leaders received the news. I guess EMT's are trained to know the difference between ring tones and heart monitor sounds.

A DVD was brought out, to fill the pastor's sermon time. Then when the service ended, I drove to The Medical Center since it's right on my way home. I'm not sure a mixed martial arts fight is the right thing to show on the emergency waiting room TV, but it was there....

The pastor recognized me when he was wheeled to his emergency room bed from an X-ray area. He was well enough to talk, but wore a neck brace and admitted he had pain in his left shoulder. That's the side with the shoulder belt - and it's also a bit fitting, because this pastor tends to be a right-wing thinker.

His scalp was bloody and he was in pain, but still the pastor remembered to thank God for sparing his life. "The life is worth more than raiment," he said recalling a verse in Luke 12. That means it's more valuable than clothing - no matter what some clothing stores around Phipps Plaza in Atlanta might try to tell you.

Many churches call the protection received by my pastor "traveling mercies." Members are wise enough NOT to ask for such things at church basketball tournaments....

True confession: I don't agree with everything this pastor preaches. But the last thing I'd want to see is this minister be seriously hurt in a car wreck. I'm a believer in Christ, but I'm a long way from the Pat Robertson neighborhood - and I'm NOT praying for Supreme Court justices to die.

"Our promise is to provide very good care," a whiteboard message says next to The Medical Center's emergency room beds. I'll assume the staff did that, because the pastor did NOT have to stay overnight. But I'm also assuming God's angels did the same thing - coming to his aid after his car drifted off the road. The pastor knew even if he rolled, he should stay close to "the Rock."

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