Wrecked by Mercy

If Santa Cruz were a woman I would be extremely jealous. When you hear Asa talk about her you’d that think he’s in love. And who wouldn’t be? The place is tucked between the mountains and the waters. I ran along the coast every morning while we visited and after I got used to the ocean breeze, I realized how beautiful it was. The surfers were paddling towards the waves. I could smell the salt of the foamy water or else the drop that rolled down my neck. I took off my sweatshirt, as the sun rose higher on the bright blue canvas. I could love this place, too, I told Asa when I met him back in the car. He smiled.
I’d pick you over Santa Cruz any day, he’d later tell me. And it’s probably the nicest thing I’ve heard him say yet.
The truth is neither of us wanted to leave. We’d had a great time exploring and spending time with Asa’s family that we decided to leave later than we had planned on Saturday. We’d fuel up on coffee, take turns napping and arrive in Phoenix with time to rest before Asa had to work on Sunday evening. We left around 8pm.
Asa took the first shift. He drove several hours before stopping for gas, coffee and a 5 hour energy. Sometime around the sixth hour (halfway through our trip), I suggested we switch soon. I was wide awake and watching a movie called “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” on Asa’s laptop. I don’t remember where the movie left off when I felt the bump as the car went off course. I remember it like a dream and a funny thought, this must be what it feels like to be inside the dryer. I fiddled with the handle but it wouldn’t budge. And then it was cold, and I was climbing out from the drivers side. I shivered.
Asa later told me that we both walked out and over the hill where the car had rolled. My glasses had been lost in the wreck and a blood vessel had popped in my right eye. That’s probably one reason why I don’t remember much. I wasn’t responding well when the paramedics came. I kept asking the same questions: what happened? Was I driving?
I woke up in a hospital bed. Asa was standing in front of me holding Kilo, our dog. I think I can say that now: our dog. Because I love this dog like it’s mine too. Other than Asa, its the only other mortal creature who shared that experience. After the accident, Kilo was ejected THROUGH the shattered window. When Asa called his name he came strutting out of the bushes. Not a bruise on his little Maltese body. How did you get him inside the hospital? I asked. I begged and pleaded, Asa answered. He placed the dog beside me and Kilo cuddled close to me. Asa showed me a picture of the car. He was near tears. I don’t remember feeling tired, he said; I laughed (it must have been the adrenaline because everything was funny) and told him it was ok. We’ll make a whole bunch of pottery and sell it as a fundraiser, I suggested. He apologized profusely. We’re alive, I said, it doesn’t matter (and I meant it). I’m alive. You’re alive. God’s mercy is so big. Mercy trumps justice…isn’t that what it says? I asked. I wasn’t sure. And I’m still not sure if I’ve misquoted.
I’ll be honest: I’ve grown lazy in my relationship with God. It takes effort to do what he asks. But you know what? God is faithful. He’s not like me. I still feel like I made the whole accident up. Like it was a nightmare. We rolled three times. My eye and my ribs are still healing from the bruises. My Nissan Juke is totaled. But you know what? God spared our lives. And showed us his loving kindness afterward.
We were quickly dismissed from the hospital in Santa Clarita and a cab driver took us to a motel where we were to spend the night. When that motel and several others refused to take us with Kilo, the driver named Jake offered his own home to us. He took us to his family’s house and gave us blankets and pillows to sleep in the couch.  In the morning, we woke up to a warm meal. I will never forget the kindness and care that his family showed us. Jake’s girlfriend even gave Kilo some doggy size hoodie’s. I’ve never been the kind of person to encourage this sort of behavior, but after seeing the little dog in a hoodie it just sorta made sense. So that’s how we became one of those couples that dresses their dog.
Anyway, thankfully, Asa’s dad drove the six hours from Santa Cruz and picked us up. He later drove us back to Phoenix. My dad came to visit last week as well. Thanks to him, I’ve quickly found a replacement vehicle.
But thanks to God, I live. And more so now more than ever do I understand that I’m alive due to his mercy and grace. I pray that He teach me to recipricate the love that He has shown me and Asa and even Kilo. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

image

image

image

Advertisements