Monday, March 12, 2018

"Jesus Gave Her Back"

Luke 7.12-15 Easy-to-Read Version

“When Jesus came near the town gate, he saw some people carrying a dead body. It was the only son of a woman who was a widow. When the Lord saw the woman, he felt very sorry for her and said, ‘Don't cry.’ Jesus spoke to the dead son: ‘Young man, I tell you, get up!’ Then the boy sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

On March 9th, 2008, exactly ten years ago, my family and I took our first family bike ride of the season. It was a Sunday. The weather was beautiful as hundreds of other cyclists, roller bladers, walkers, and Frisbee golfers would testify. We started at Greenway Park near Hall Boulevard and wound our way through Fanno Creek wetlands, tunneled under Scholls Ferry Road, and rode into the heart of Tigard.

My six year old daughter was still on training wheels so we opted for the Schwinn bike trailer. Rachel was the Queen of Sheba perched comfortably in her bike buggy pulled by me and flanked by big brother and mom on mountain bikes.

I picked up a little speed on the smooth, asphalt slope heading back north at Woodard Park. Apparently too much speed. As I eased to the left I felt the bike trailer swing and lift right. I jumped off my bike but couldn’t stop the momentum. I watched the trailer flip instantly completing more than a full lateral roll and landing on its side. My daughter had a serious look of alarm in her eyes. “Are you OK, honey?” I shouted. She was fine sustaining only a minor cut on her right elbow. I felt enormous relief. My wife turned to see the aftermath and offered up a gasp of a prayer. “Oh God” was all she said.

Every safety measure had been seen to. Rachel’s bike helmet was secure and she was strapped in with a 5-point safety harness. A tall, bright, yellow flag alerted other cyclists and motorists to steer clear. The Schwinn trailer’s roll bars performed perfectly keeping my daughter’s head from bouncing on pavement. I don’t like to think of what could have happened with cheaper equipment and fewer precautions. Instead of the worst, God heard a mother’s cry for help. When we needed Him the most, before we even knew what happened, my Rachel “sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave [her] back to [her] mother” and me.

Many years ago, Jesus “felt very sorry for” a grieving mother of an only son. Ten years ago, the same Lord heard a similar cry from another mother. Once again He chose to spare a young life. At sixteen, Rachel has developed into a beautiful young lady. Her mom, who went to heaven two and a half years ago, would be proud. 

Thank you Jesus.

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