The Hand of God

stop light

No, this isn’t another post about Thanos and Infinity War.

As much as I adore movies, this past Sunday morning offered an even more thrilling experience than witnessing the wonderfully crafted gut-punch that was the previous day’s Avengers viewing. And, seeing as I haven’t written here in almost a year, and it seems that my heart isn’t much into pursuing any form of regular writing again any time soon, I figured this is a slightly more important post to hold at the top of my site for a while… not that I don’t love that big, purple face of the Mad Titan from Tuesday night’s post.

So, what’s this post all about then, Mark.. get on with it! Well, Sunday morning, as I drove us to church, Sydney and I narrowly escaped getting t-boned in an intersection. And I’m convinced that it wasn’t my skills behind the wheel that saved us.

Set the scene: it’s a lovely Sunday morning, my beautiful girlfriend is sitting shotgun on my right, and the two of us are having a great laugh on our way to church. We’re the first car in a protected left turn lane, just next to our destination, waiting for the green light to turn. I make a joke (I’m hilarious, ya know) and more laughter fills the car as my green arrow lights up from across the intersection. I casually press on the gas pedal to advance through, and then I notice something… one of the cars coming towards my right side wasn’t stopping.

To illustrate this, I’ve constructed a beautiful model and elaborately recreated the event through CGI and brilliant stop-motion effects. No… actually, I just took a screenshot of the intersection in Google Maps and hastily drew some arrows onto it. MarkMushakian.com brilliance at its peak, I tell ya!

google map intersection

My car was making the blue turn, the other car was in the red lane going straight.

It’s interesting how much thought and activity can occur in the span of only seconds. As I was 1/3 of the way through my turn, a white car broke from the pack of cars stopping at the crosswalk line and continued right towards us. This car wasn’t going especially fast, so I suspect they were simply distracted rather than trying to make the light. In fact, if anything, the car first appeared to be slowing down with the others, which is why I proceeded with my turn. But slowing down or not, it didn’t stop. So I noticed. I made some sort of calm “Oop” sound. Time continued to somehow fill a few seconds with the actions and thoughts of minutes. My foot eased up on the gas pedal, preparing to brake, but I was already too far into my turn. Collision would be imminent, and as I still moved ahead, I noted that I was looking at the approaching car through my passenger-side window. This car was going to strike right where sat the most precious cargo I have — Sydney. My foot pressed onto the gas pedal again, as I turned the steering wheel hard to the left.

Still, seconds dragged on as I witnessed everything in slow motion.

My goal quickly became not simply avoiding collision, but to avoid this other vehicle from driving right into Sydney. As I pulled ahead, clearing my girl of a direct hit, I then pulled my steering wheel to the right, hoping to pull the tail end of my car away in time. And somehow, though it felt as if the car passed through the back of my car as if it was an apparition, we came out completely untouched as the white car simply drove straight through the intersection.

Resume the regular passing of time.

Though my shaking hands were evident of the adrenaline surging through my body, I remained entirely calm through the entire evasion. Just after passing through the intersection, in fact, I continued my joke from earlier as if nothing had happened. But something HAD happened. And yet, I remained calm.

Now, I’m a fairly grounded and practical man. This attitude follows me into my worldview, and permeates my faith in God. Though I appreciate my sensibility, I have also struggled with this, as I sometimes have difficulty breaking free of an overly practical mindset in all walks of life. This difficulty extends into my beliefs, too, I can admit. Just the other week, in my Wednesday night Bible study group, I spoke to this struggle and how it has hindered my faith at times. I have prayed over the last couple of weeks for more boldness in this.

This Sunday, God answered by letting me almost get into a car accident :).

I speak to my practicality here, because it is an important frame of reference for what I say next: I am convinced that God pushed us through that intersection. Yes, of course the human body is capable of seemingly strange things under stress and yes, I was the one pressing on the gas pedal and steering the car. But I have an assurance, which someone as grounded as myself does not come by often or easily, that God nudged the tail of my car in a direction I could not have steered it myself — and in doing so, kept it just out of the path of the other car.

I am not writing today to say that God swooped in to save me from the inconvenience and minor injury of a tail-end collision or that Christians are immune from car accidents and much worse. I am not writing to say that my car and its passengers were saved from this because we “had enough faith.” I’m not even writing to entertain you with my suspenseful writing and witty comments (okay, well not JUST for that). I am writing, instead, because I believe that this is something I am supposed to share. As just about the most annoyingly practical man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I am certainly in the back of the line of folks who want to make miraculous claims — and yet, here I am, doing just that with a confidence that escapes logic.

I am a sinner, as are we all, and yet I am forgiven and saved from the punishment I’ve earned by complete grace. That is, by far, the greatest thing God will ever do for me, yet if it takes my sharing of a lesser, but more physically tangible, blessing in this accident evasion tale to get the attention of those I speak to… then I am glad to now do so. 🙂

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About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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