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Landing in My Angelís Hand

by Sydney Tooley

 “Daddy, I’ve been hit by a car!”

Until my collision with the car, it had been a typical summer evening at my house, and for some reason my family and I were all up late. I had happened to wander out onto our front porch. Under a light on the other side of the street, I saw a bike with a sign that said “Free.”
Since my sister’s bike had a flat tire and she couldn’t ride with me around the block, I went inside and told my mom and sister, “There’s a free bike across the street, and I’m going to go over and get it.”
As I walked across the street, I had a sudden thought: What if the bike doesn’t work? Anyway, I placed my hands on the bike’s handlebars, climbed up on the seat, and started pedaling—without looking to see if it was safe to cross the street.
A driver pulled onto the street from a side street. I was only five feet from the sidewalk, and I thought nothing of the roaring monster that had emerged out of the darkness. But like something from a nightmare, it came thundering up behind me. I felt the ground slip away from me as tires squealed and I was hurled into the air. I came crashing down onto an explosion of glass. The crushing impact stunned me as I toppled over the other side of the car and abruptly ended my ride when my face collided with the pavement.
A haze clouded my vision as I stumbled toward my house. Staggering blindly up the stairs to the second floor, I leaned against the wall for support and yelled, “Daddy, I’ve been hit by a car!”
I walked unsteadily up the last few steps and entered my parents’ room. The look on my dad’s face turned into one of astonishment. Some of our neighbors who had witnessed the accident rushed to my house to see how I could have possibly gotten up after such a crash. By this time I had somewhat regained my senses, and I  felt both confused and annoyed.
Standing in the middle of my parents’ room with blood streaming down my face, I wondered out loud, “How in the world did that guy hit me?”
As my parents tried to lead me downstairs, I informed them, “I can walk by myself—I don’t need any assistance.”
A neighbor had called 9-1-1, so screaming ambulance sirens and a fire engine greeted me when I walked out onto the front porch, indignant at the thought that anyone could have struck me with a vehicle!
Standing in the yard, holding a cloth against my face, I ranted about how some dumb guy had hit me with his car, and that there was no way in creation he couldn’t have seen me, because our street was lit up like a Christmas tree! Since I was standing up and walking around the yard fuming about the dimwitted driver, my mom knew I was going to live, so she started taking pictures.
Then the paramedics insisted that I ride in the ambulance to the hospital. I complied, though I insisted that I was all right. It turned out that I just needed some stitches.
On the way over to the hospital the paramedics talked with me and were extremely nice. I was aware of what was going on, and I could answer all their questions without hesitation. Yet it was as if everything were happening in slow motion and the lights in the ambulance had been enhanced. As they were lifting me out of the ambulance, one of the paramedics asked, “How did you like the ride?”
“It would have been better if I had been sitting up,” I stated, “but otherwise it was pretty fun.”
He chuckled. “Most people say it’s bumpy.”
“I didn’t think it was bumpy,” I replied before they whisked me into the ER.
I spent several hours in the hospital getting  treatment, which included a half hour in a neck brace, nine shots, and seven stitches. The diagnosis was that all the facial bones surrounding my left eye had been shattered in place, I had a sizable knot on the back of my head, and I had enough road rash for two lifetimes. I didn’t have a concussion, brain damage, or any other broken bones besides the ones around my eye.
What I think . . .
Six weeks later I had amazingly recovered from the accident without any disfigurement to my face except for a small scar above my left eye. Yet I still felt uneasy when riding in a car. Every time a car would pull out from a side street, I’d jump and grab the arm rest on the car door to steady myself.
It’s been more than three years since the accident, and now I’m old enough to drive. To my surprise, I drive like a normal teenager, though I thought I’d never be able to get over the fear the accident caused. With help from my parents and relatives, I’m an enthusiastic driver who can never get in enough driving time!
Since the accident I’ve often wondered why God spared my life, and if He has a purpose for me. When I think about the day I should have died, I remember my favorite chapter of the Bible, Psalm 91. Verses 11 and 12 say: “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (NKJV).*
Now when I recall the day of my accident, I think of it as the day I landed in my angel’s hand.
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sydney Tooley’s hobbies include reading, writing, music, and animals. She writes from Maryland.

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