Friday, April 19, 2019

Every Day is Christmas by Barbara Miller-Collins

     Christmas is a busy time of the year.  But underlying the hurry scurry is the underlying theme of “love”.  Every day is Christmas to me.  Every day I am reminded of the love of Jesus Christ, His mercy and kindness to me.  My life has been preserved and extended for His purposes.  I survived stage 3B aggressive breast cancer in 1995.  A miracle happened again on December 7, 2018.
      Chris and I were returning from purchasing kitchen cabinets for our rental house.  I was dozing in the passenger seat of our car as we crossed the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers on SR 18 at milepost 34.  It was a dark night at 5:10 p.m. and we were traveling in a solid stream of cars in rush hour traffic going 60 plus mph in our Toyota Camry. 
     A sudden deceleration of speed and then a massive blow sent me flying forward violently and then I slammed backwards.  My eyes flew open to see dimly that we were stopped in a medium strip between two speeding lanes of traffic.  Our car was stopped at the entrance to an exit onto I-82.  The lights from the traffic speeding within feet of us were disorienting.  I was trembling.
     Our seats were now laid back fully with the portion under our backs broken and bent in a 35 degree angle.  They were inoperable.  The back doors would not open.  The rear view mirror had become a flying projectile.  The trunk had been shoved almost into the back seat.  The car frame was bent.  Our rear bumper and muffler were grinding on the pavement as Chris managed to move our car forward to a wider place in the medium strip between the I-82 exit and the busy SR18.  We sat shaking and in shock trying to orient our thoughts as to what to do.  The ¾ ton Chevy Silverado truck that had rear-ended our car at high speed was now stopped beside us.
      I looked up and saw a woman walking down the middle of the medium strip.   She had crossed two lanes of heavy bumper to bumper traffic to reach our car.   “Are you hurt?!” she demanded.  “What is your pain level?” I was incoherent, in shock.  "Give me your hand!”  She demanded.   I gave her my hand.  She prayed an anointing that my body would not suffer any ill effects and would be healed.  She asked God for healing, peace and comfort for me.  I felt the quiet peace cover me and the confusion lifted.  “Give me your hand!” she urgently commanded Chris.  Again, she prayed over him that any ill effects from the accident would be healed.  There were no injuries in the other vehicle.  A state patrolman gave us a ride to the hospital eventually.  X-rays showed no broken bones.  We were in some mild pain.  Chris’ bad knee had hit the dashboard.  The rear-view mirror had hit him in the ear.  My upper spine felt tight and my right knee was sore.  But we did not need pain medicine.
      Assessing what had happened; Chris realized that given the force that had crumpled metal so badly and broken our seats, we were lucky to be alive.  Miraculously, our bodies sustained little damage.  We were no more sore than what we were before the accident.  We were able to resume our daily activities quickly.  No additional medical treatment for injuries has been required in the 4 months since the incident.  Even the big financial loss of our car turned into a blessing.   We were able to replace it with an AWD vehicle before our family arrived for the Christmas holidays and importantly before record breaking heavy winter snows came to Washington State a few months later. 
     Chris and I feel inspired and miraculously blessed by the faith of this unknown disciple who in Christ-like love put her own life selflessly at risk to come and pray for strangers in their time of need.   She truly was Christ-like in her ministry to us. 
    John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.  God is love.  Christmas is love.  Let us love one another even as Jesus Christ loves us.  Let every day be Christmas.