In God’s mercy, when I crashed on my bicycle, I fell away from the busy highway and into the guard rail. On a Saturday ride for exercise, March 30, 2019, I fell and broke three ribs, bruised a lung, and suffered a dozen cuts and bruises, but God spared my life. New rumble strips on a familiar road surprised me and took me down within seconds.
In God’s mercy, the two cars following right behind me both stopped. One woman whom I didn’t know laid hands on me and prayed aloud, while the other called 911. Within a minute, a sheriff stopped and kept me propped between the steel guardrail and his leg to prevent me from falling or collapsing into the four-lane highway.
In God’s mercy, a former student served as my nurse in the ER and a doctor whose children I teach reassured me but said it would be 4-6 weeks until I healed. My ER doc, a very recent medical school grad, thought she saw 7-8 broken ribs and a punctured lung, and with too much trauma for the local hospital to handle, she sent me by ambulance to UVA Hospital.
In God’s mercy, I received excellent care in Charlottesville, Va., though on a Saturday night, with the University of Virginia in a March Madness basketball game, and patients in the ER in much worse shape than me, I waited. Eighteen difficult hours after the accident, alone in my room, I stopped the young doc who came on her 8:00 AM shift. I asked for answers and clarity on my injuries. She halted her usual routine and talked to me, showing me broken ribs, #6, #8, and #9. I had a bruised lung, she reported, not a punctured lung. In a revelation of how small the world is, I discovered that my remarkably skilled first-year resident doc is an older sister to one of my World History students at EMHS.
In God’s mercy, my wife, family, and close church friends have taken great care of me. I’ve been through intense pain and night-time discouragement about how I landed in such a helpless predicament. Bones heal, however, and in God’s miraculous mercy, internal pain slowly subsides.
In God’s mercy, students came to visit me in my living room. From my sofa, they extended kind words, laughter, and a song that I shall never forget—their presence, like that of angels, encouraged me to get well so I could return to my classroom. In God’s mercy, I work at a school with supportive administrators and colleagues who care about me. Many people rallied around me in my time of need — these gifts I acknowledge as flowing from God’s abundant mercy. Seven weeks later, in God’s mercy, I am mostly healed and back to regular work patterns.