Karen Swallow Prior: What My Recent Accident Taught Me About Repentance

Sin is like getting hit by a bus.

Surviving it requires the divine intervention of the creator. Even when it doesn’t kill you, it causes needless pain. And we can’t get out of its horrible consequences on our own.

I was away from home for work, on my way to a meeting and, having decided to walk the 20-minute distance on this beautiful, late spring morning, I lost my way. I decided to turn back to my hotel and take a cab from there.

I didn’t see the bus until it slammed against me. According to the police report, I was thrown 15 or 20 feet into the air. I don’t remember that flight or the landing that followed. I remember coming to with a crowd of people around me and my whole body in excruciating pain. I couldn’t see anything but the blood running from my head down my arm. I could hear two women saying they were nurses and giving instructions to the other Samaritans who’d come to my aid. I could hear a man who was holding my hand warmly and firmly and asking my name. When I gave it, he just kept saying, “Karen, don’t lose consciousness. Stay with us, Karen.” I was in such pain that I couldn’t stop screaming.

What remains in my memory most from those moments is the blood and the screaming and that man holding my hand. He held it the entire time while I was placed onto the stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. Just before the paramedics slid me all the way into that dark cave, he prayed for me. All I could manage to say was, “God bless you.” And I meant it.

Sin is like this.

Sin is like this in that, so often, it’s just a tiny step away from the standard. A split second error in judgment. A little thing, like paying too much attention to one thing and not enough to another. A way we go amiss in the course of trying to do what’s right and good, just as I was on the day I got hit.

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Source: Christianity Today