Over the weekend, friends and I were driving towards a night out of good food. A casual chat about Tom Cruise’s Scientology beliefs opened the talk up to just how similar this ‘crazy’ religion is to Christianity, Islam, Judaism; other religions around the world. What makes believing in an omnipotent God that no one has ever seen any different than believing in aliens? In fact, why don’t we all just give into the ‘truth’ of human evolution – Darwinism, and how we all originated from apes?
While sitting in the passenger seat, and not paying much attention to my peripheral vision, my life almost changed.
A quick swerve of the car, tires squealing, bone-chilling screaming and the eyes of a young boy, mere inches from mine, startled and shook me to realize what had just happened.
Driving the speed limit along a main street with no obstacles or heavy traffic, a child had dislodged himself from his family on the sidewalk and ran directly towards our car. He was yelling in indecipherable moans, his father pulling him back towards the sidewalk; ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’ the father repeated.
Exciting the vehicle, I approached the non-English speaking family. The child was unhurt, confused, his mother eerily calm, and his father grasping onto him. ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’.
‘Are you OK?’
No response from the child; just howling.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’
‘Are you hurt?’
More confused and nonsensical shrieking.
‘He has autism,’ replied the mother.
I asked for reassurance that the child was OK, and in my troubled state wished them a Merry Christmas and re-entered the car.
Had this happened because we had questioned God?
So many questions filled my head.
No icy snow – would we have stopped in time?
No one had been using any alcohol or drugs – would the time to react have been enough?
The car was new and maintained properly – what if the brakes and suspension hadn’t reacted the way they did?
No bright lights, pretty girls, strange happenings, radio tuning, cell texting; no distractions whatsoever – they happen so often, but not at that exact moment.
How would have my life changed if the unspeakable had happened?
Had this happened because God exists?
Was He showing us His power? His strength? His forgiveness? His presence?
Was the autistic child an angel?
Was it pure luck and nothing else?
With the holiday season being a time of family get-togethers, friends spending happy times bundled up, hurried stressful shopping adventures, and helping the less-fortunate, we sometimes forget about why it all started: the birth of Jesus, and to a greater degree God’s power and effect over humanity.
Keep your heart and soul, not just the mind open.