Friday, July 8, 2011

My Scar

It was a very hot night.  My sister, Lisa, and I had spent the day helping some neighbor girls run a garage sale to help pay for a broken window.  They had accidentally broken the window while playing one day, but the family couldn't afford to replace it, so the girls put on a garage sale to raise funds for the window.  I remember that their parents were very unhappy about that window being broken, but thought it was very cool that they found a way to pay for it!  I believe the girls were about 10 and 13 and at the time I was about 8 years old.

I had gone to bed, but my room was like an oven, way too hot to sleep in.  So I decided to try to open my window.  We lived in an old house, with wooden framed windows that had been painted more times than you could count.  They were heavy, and needed to be lifted up and then braced with something to hold them open.  I had much difficulty opening these windows when I was young and this might have been the first time I attempted to do it by myself.  My bedroom was on the top floor, and my bed was positioned right up to the window, so once I got that window open I would get the fresh air right on my face, delightful on hot nights.

I placed my hands on the window and began to push.  It didn't budge, so I pushed again, started to I tried one last time pushing with all my might.  The window gave, only it didn't go up, it shattered.  Since I was pushing so hard against the glass (not the frame), the momentum caused me to go through the window, and since I was on my knees at the level of the window there was nothing preventing me from flying right through that window to the concrete over 2 stories below.  I distinctly remember watching the glass shards dropping down towards the ground and the feeling that I was starting to do the same, when I felt a pressure on my chest that held me in place with my knees on the bed, my feet in the air and the upper half of my body hanging out the window...then I came back through the window opening (I'm not sure how to this day) until I was sitting on my bed, but on the way back through my arm (just above and inside my elbow) had caught on a large glass shard sticking up from the lower frame.  I was terrified!  I was mortified!  I had broken that window and they are so expensive!  I was bleeding too - badly.

I jumped off my bed, holding my arm to try to stop the bleeding and I ran out of my room - I was yelling at this point "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I broke the window" and ran down the stair and was still yelling/crying about breaking the window.  My mom had come running to the stair along with my dad and my sister, Lisa.  They had heard the glass breaking on the ground and then my yelling - they ran towards the stairs and got to me as I neared the bottom.

By this time my arm had bled enough that it was obvious that it needed attention right away.  My mother reassured me that it was OK and not to worry about the window.  Over and over as I was hysterically telling them that I'd work to pay for it and that I was so sorry that I had broken the window.  My mom carefully cleaned my arm, and discovered that a chunk of flesh had been scooped out - about 1/4 inch wide, and 1 inch long and around 1/2 inch deep.  I remember her discussing the possibility of stitches, but they decided that a butterfly bandage would suffice.  It took a while, but they did get the bleeding to stop.  While she was working on my arm she asked how I broke the window, and then she asked how I kept from falling completely out of the window since I was kneeling right next to the window and I told her about the pressure on my chest.    I told her that something, someone kept me from falling.  There was no reason I shouldn't have fallen to the cement below - I was even hanging out there long enough to watch the glass falling to the ground!

I believe that an angel held me back.  God preserved my life that day.  Falling 2 1/2 stories onto glass covered cement  would have been life threatening.  But that wasn't in God's plan for me.  He stepped in and preserved me.  He allowed this in my life to show me that He is in control - that no harm can befall me unless it is first filtered through His loving hand, and that it is for my good and for His glory.  Would He be any less loving or in control if I had fallen to the ground and was severely injured?  No, if that had happened, that would have been His plan for me and it would have been for my good and His glory.  But He chose to do something miraculous - to show that nothing is impossible with Him.

To this day I have the scar on my arm.  It is noticeable and I can't tell you how many time children have asked me how I got that scar, and it gives me many opportunities to share how God miraculously preserved my life that day.  Now that I think of it, scars are an excellent way to remember, aren't they!

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