Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last night, Bob and I went out to pick up a few stocking stuffers for the grands and load up on groceries for the week. As we left our rural property heading for the city, we were happy and fairly carefree, talking and laughing about finally getting out on a date, even if it was about picking up groceries. Ten miles from our home, we finally approached the Kilpatrick Turnpike which would take us another five miles to the shopping center. We had decided to take the turnpike instead of the usual back way hoping to avoid traffic congestion at some of the intersections. That decision would change our evening dramatically.

As Bob merged onto the turnpike, I was chattering away about our Christmas plans, who was coming, what the menu was, what presents were already wrapped and waiting under the tree, when we both noticed what looked like a cloud of smoke less than half a mile ahead. We quickly realized that a car had just driven off the frontage road that parallels the turnpike, crashing through the chain link fence and rolling down the twenty foot embankment. We quickly arrived at the scene, joining several other cars that had also pulled over at about the same time.

Pulling over, I noticed three things: the mangled car on it’s side with it’s contents scattered about, a man walking in circles looking dazed and another man laying completely still on the side of the road. Once we were off the road, I jumped from the car and sprinted back to the man on the ground. All I could think about was getting to him and praying.

I knelt down in the grass, laid both my hands on his legs and began to gently stroke him, pleading with God to bring comfort, to show mercy, to do a miracle and heal his broken body. Within seconds, another woman was at his head carefully caressing his face and another man laid his coat over the man and spoke comforting words. I wasn’t really aware of much else for the next five minutes but later Bob would tell me that he saw others standing in the background and he could hear their prayers. Once the fire department, police and ambulance all arrived, they performed their jobs with excellence and had the man ready to transport the few short miles to the hospital.

Here is what I will never forget.

I will never forget that a man named William was surrounded by so many strangers who, at that moment, were united in bringing him comfort.

I will never forget that William was distracted from driving while using his cell phone.

I will never forget that William’s decision to text, talk and drive caused an absolutely horrific and life changing event to happen to him.

I will never forget that I don’t need to talk to anybody so desperately that I cannot wait to pull off the road before dialing or texting.

Please pray for William.


Blasé said...

This Texting phenomenon has gotten out of hand.

Dear Lord God Jesus,
Please take away William's cell-phone until he is ready to use it responsibly. Thank you that Bob and Marla were not killed by this man's negligence. Amen

..oh, and give him comfort and healing too. Amen

Not So Simply Single said...

I am so sorry about William!

This is a good lesson for EVERYONE...and a reminder to me to turn off the cell phone. (I just blogged about that!)

God heal William! Amen!


Parsley said...

So glad you were there to pray and yes, I will join you.

Texting....worse than drunk driving.

Brian Miller said...

dang...intense moment...glad you were there...and i will join you in praying...

Nicole said...

I am so guilty of talking on the phone while driving. I do use handsfree much of the time, but some times I don't. And even handsfree it's a distraction. With the rains we've had the last few days, I've put the phone down and found that I indeed do drive better without it. Not to mention, I am cherishing just being in the moment of driving vs. trying to accomplish other things.

Thanks for the reminder.

And Merry Christmas! Love, N

Oklahoma Granny said...

Talking and texting is so very dangerous and although I've been guilty of talking while driving I do ALWAYS pull over to the side of the road when I get a text.

The thing that stood out most to me though is that although you could have taken a different route to the store, you chose a different one. I truly believe God had His hand in it. It's so refreshing to know that there were so many surrounding William and praying for him.

Wishing you and your family a very Blessed Christmas!

Delirious said...

It's nice to know that people still have a love of mankind and will reach out to those in need. I think sometimes I get cynical and cease believing that this kind of love for mankind still exists. And what a blessing that those who did stop to help, believed in prayer.

I saw a clip of an Oprah show where she had Tom Cruise, and an actress (can't remember who) sign a pledge that they would never text and drive. It may sound silly, but I do think having signed that, they will think twice. I hope I can impress this upon my children too.

gayle said...

Thank God you were there! I am showing this to my daughter who scares me because she calls us all the time on her cell phone with my grandson in the car. I wish it was against the law in our state!

Bel said...

Wow Mom it sounds like you and the others around William were Jesus' hands and voice to speak healing and comfort over him together.
....Yes, Jesus, let William be able to praise you in this because you healed him completely!Let him live to glorify you on earth! Let it be known that you saved his life,and bring comfort and healing to the other man involved in the accident. Amen

Sarah said...

I hope he's all right and his family can still have a merry Christmas.

tattytiara said...

Another good reminder that I really need to take a basic first aid course. You really never do know when you're going to be the difference between life and death for someone! And definitely - I've told my boss who bought the thing for me and everybody else I know - if I'm behind the wheel, I'm not answering the phone.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

thank God there were so many Christians on the road, at that very minute, right where you were needed. you may have taken a route that you hadn't planned, but God had other plans for your evening.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Marla, this took my breath away. I am sending prayers to William and thanking you for your heart-felt kindness to him at the side of the road.

xoxo jj

J.J. in L.A. said...

I've never been so glad that I have hand controls, so my hands are busy driving. Even seeing people talking on their cell phones scares me!

Prayers sent!

TechnoBabe said...

We hear about so many accidents because of texting and/or talking on cell phones. Everyone must have hear stories like this, so why they still do it is so hard to answer. You and Bob are such loving people. I hope and pray that William turns to a life of speaking out for responsible cell phone use in the car.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What was so important..that is what I don't get. Fricking phones calls are not that important..and neither is texting..this whole cell phone thing is way out of hand. You were a gem to was very kind:) Oh and Merry Christmas

Enchanted Oak said...


Just Be Real said...

Texting is so dangerous while driving. So very sorry for William. Blessings dear one.

Kristen said...

You have had quite the month. I am glad William had you there. Hope your holidays are peaceful, looking forward to finding more similarities in 2011!

Dawn said...

Wow!! What a touching story.

I'm scared to text in the car. And I'm even getting a little scared of even being on the phone.

I really do wish that somehow when a car turns on that a phone won't work. It will only work once the car is stopped.

Texting is so dangerous while driving.

Deborah said...

That's going to be hard to get out of your mind Marla.

White light to William. He needs to put his phone in the glovebox while he is driving.

Glen said...

You have such a big heart. Thank goodness that his use of the phone did not kill anyone else.

It is heart warming when you see first hand how well humans can stick together to help people when emergencies happen. We aren't so bad after all

Sandra said...

Wow...I can't really think of anything more to say. I agree though, a phone call or a text can't be THAT important.
And what a soul you are, really.

Elisabeth said...

What a staggering story, Marla. I'm new to your blog through Enchanted Oak.

Life can slip a gear in such the blink of an eye to bring on the best and the worst for any of us.

It's good, however sobering, after this post - to meet you here, Marla.