Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Motorcycle and a Miracle...

Dad is the man lying on the ground.
     A week and one day ago, (April 10th, 2017) I got a phone call that would change me.  My parents (Dr. Randy and Mary Jane James) live in Oak Hill, West Virginia where my Dad is the Pastor of the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene.  That afternoon, my Dad had been out calling on his motorcycle.  He was on a four lane highway headed back toward home and he was going the speed limit, which in that area was 65mph.  Suddenly a drunk driver in a pick up truck pulled out in front of my Dad and with no time to swerve or stop, Dad crashed into the side of that truck.  He hit the truck hard enough that he knocked the back wheels off of the vehicle.  When he fell to the ground we are told that his helmeted head hit the ground and bounced 2 or 3 times as it did.   He should have died.  There is literally no earthly way that my Dad should have survived such a terrible crash...but he did.  In fact, not only did he survive, but he had no broken bones, no head injuries, and no shoulder injuries.  None!
     When he was taken to the hospital, he was found to have bumps and bruises and the next day they found that he had compartment syndrome in his right leg which required two surgeries...both of which were successful and the first of which exposed a deadly blood clot that was removed without incident.
     Everyone who saw the crash or the wreckage from it expected the worst.  But, that's not what happened.  Miracles happened.  Several of them, in fact.  Within moments of the crash, a nurse (who had been coming the other direction at the time of the crash) stopped to help and was administering aid even before an ambulance could be called.  Bystanders stopped traffic to keep him from being run over since he was now in the middle of the highway.  Dad, who was awake and alert after the crash, pulled his phone from his pocket (which didn't break) and called my Mom to tell her that "he'd had an accident and thought he probably better be taken to the hospital to get checked out."   The drunk driver had just dropped off a hitch hiker who saw the entire incident and could tell the police what happened. We think that Dad's Honda Goldwing made impact with the tire area of the truck which would have had more "give" than other areas of the vehicle when struck.  But even with all those things happening...the speed Dad was going at the time of the crash should have killed him. 
     We often talk about miracles and sometimes we use the term too loosely.  But last week, no other word fits Dad's survival.  We look at this incident and we can only stand in awe and wonder.
     As a Pastor, I know that miracles happen.  I have seen them take place in the lives of people.  But this one hit me differently.  Seeing my Dad survive an unsurvivable crash makes me think that I now understand what it was like for the people who watched Jesus heal the blind or make the lame walk.  Those kinds of miracles are hard to wrap your head around because there is nothing you can even remotely attach as another reason it happened.  It's not like they could say, "Well, he wasn't really blind," or "I think the doctor gave that lame man some better medicine and it's just now taking effect."  I think I can also better understand how the disciples and the women who went to the tomb felt when they realized that Jesus was indeed alive.  Those kind of miracles just leave you staring in disbelief.  And that is the way I felt when I saw my Dad in the hospital.  I could see with my own eyes that he was alive and yet, my mind could hardly process it because I know HE SHOULD BE DEAD.  But, he's not...Dad is alive.
     We serve a God who does miracles...but now I see them in a different way.  Now, I will read those Scriptures with new eyes.  Now I think I can explain how amazing they were/are a little better.  Because now, I have seen one of those unexplainable miracles up close.  And when you see God do something that can not be explained except to acknowledge that HE did it...you walk away changed.


  1. Praise God for His protection! I am a friend of Rick's and read about this on Facebook. You have written a beautiful post about this wonderful miracle. My God continue to bless your family!

    Debby Ray

  2. Thank God. I love your parents. Attended the church before moving to SC. That's the thing with today... Alot of people and churches have changed, God HAS NOT! ❤