When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Accident

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Missouri to visit my oldest daughter. It was a long and grueling drive. The majority of it took place in a blizzard, so the going was slow and visibility was poor. We were afraid to stop because the majority of the weather system was behind us. Had we stopped, we would have had to stay at a hotel for two days. Our trip was only a week long, and we did not want to loose two days with family. By driving, we were able to stay toward the front of the storm and avoid the majority of the road closures.
As we were getting to the leading edge of the storm in Missouri, John, who was driving at the time, saw a car on the opposite side of the highway, slide off the road and go over the edge of the embankment. He told me immediately what he saw. The car disappeared from site and we were both worried about injuries.
I am an EMT, which isn't a lot, but I am a first responder and carry a kit in my car for emergencies. I immediately put in a call to 911 while John took the next exit and we tried to use the GPS to find a road somewhere off the highway that would lead us to the vehicle. There was no where to park on the highway without endangering ourselves or our children, hence the need to find a back way.
While we were trying to figure out where to go, I was trying to also figure out how to tell the dispatcher where we were. The GPS and the Atlas called the highway a name that the dispatcher did not know. On the map, it was Highway 60. The highway actually had a name and not a number as far as the dispatcher for EMS was concerned. I spent a frustrating five minutes that felt more like an hour in trying to let people know where I was located.
We found the back road that took us about 200 yards from the scene of the accident. I took off running with my emergency kit. I had on my crocs, (these are like sandals in case you do not know), a t-shirt, and lightweight trousers. I was running through a light snow, over rocks and brush and through trees and tall grasses. I had ice in my hair, in my shoes and down my neck. Life is good.
I ran up to the car and found a woman and her little boy. I was able to talk EMS to the scene by telling the dispatcher what direction the sirens were coming from. They were on scene approximately two minutes after I got there. The woman and boy were miraculously unhurt. The car was not so fortunate. The car had crashed through several hay bales before coming to the bottom of the embankment. Those hay bales kept the occupants from being seriously injured. The embankment made it hard to locate them. They were completely out of view from the passing traffic above them. I was so relieved to have them safe and unhurt. I stayed with them until the paramedics were able to get down the embankment and take over the scene, my husband arrived about the same time and we then walked together back to our children then we left to continue our drive to my daughter's house.
When my husband and I got back to the car, we found all three of our girls with tears in their eyes asking if everyone was alright.  My oldest daughter informed me that they had said a prayer for the safety of those people in the car and for our ability to help them.  They then suggested that we have a prayer of gratitude for the answer of the first prayer.  So we did.  We bowed our heads inside our car and said a quick and heartfelt prayer of thanks for our Heavenly Father's blessings that day and for the safety of all concerned.

I have learned from this experience how important it is to know where you are so that you can help another. Harold B. Lee said, "You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul".

In the New Testament in Acts chapter three, is the experience of Peter and John as they were on their way to the temple. They met a man at the gate who was lame from birth. He had never walked and was begging alms of all who approached the gate. As Peter and John approached, he held out his hand asking for alms.
4 "And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus
    Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk".  Acts 3:(4-6)
Now, in my mind, I can just see this man looking at Peter and John and thinking, "do they know that I have never walked?"   But the scripture doesn't end with the command.  Peter did not just tell the man to walk, he also “took him by the right hand, and lifted him up” (Acts 3:7).  He showed him that it was possible.
Can you see in your own mind, that Apostle lifting him up?  Can you imagine him putting his arm around the man who used to be lame and helping him as he takes his first step?  Then the scripture continues and tells us that the "the man leaped with joy".
You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is.  Peter had the fire of testimony burning in his own soul.  He was an apostle and charged to bear witness of the Savior to the people.  He was able to command the man to walk because he himself believed and knew that it was possible.  He had seen the Savior healing the sick, raising the dead, and causing the lame to walk.  He knew who the Savior was.  He knew what miracles could be wrought.
During this accident in Missouri, I could not help as effectively as I would have liked to, because I did not know where I was.  I was unable to give the needed information to the dispatcher.  This caused both of us to be very frustrated.  I saw, with my eyes, where the car went off the road, but I could not describe the location.  I did not know the address.  The desire to help was there, but my lack of knowledge delayed the response time of the local Fire Department.  I was unsure of where I was and unsteady in giving the directions that would be the most help.
Each one of us will have times in our lives when we will want to help others.  It might be our friends who are struggling with difficulties.  It might be the sisters we visit teach, or the families we home teach.  It might be our own family members.  It might even be our own teenage children.  If we are to help them learn to stand on firm foundations, we first need to make sure that our own foundations are sure.
We need to know where we are.
We need to know where we stand.
We need to know that we are standing on the Rock
 that is our Savior Jesus Christ.


  1. Those people are so blessed that your husband saw them swerve over the embankment and that you both were so kind to go to all that trouble in the cold and snow. I'm so glad they were okay.

    You always have such a way of explaining things in simple terms and is great for teaching!

  2. Oh my goodness, that is incredible! I'm so glad that everyone was okay! Way to go EMT!
    And I second what Valerie said, you have a great way of tying experiences into scriptural meaning and making it so easy to understand,

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

  4. What an inspiring story, Patty! You have a beautiful way with words, and with tying things together in a gospel perspective. I hope you & your family had a wonderful Easter!