By Greg Johnson
It’s a Sunday afternoon and the family car has pulled into the driveway at home. You took the family out for brunch after church and it’s almost 2:00. After changing clothes, everyone quickly heads in different directions. Dad, you trudge off to the garage to work on the car. The brakes have been squeaking a lot lately, so you’re pulling off the tires and checking the pads. Mom, you go to the spare bedroom to work on a few craft projects you haven’t had time to get to. The older sister gets on the phone to talk with her best friend. The youngest brother heads downstairs to play. And the middle child stays in his room because it’s a disaster area from having a friend over the day before. From the looks of it, it could be an all-day job.
Dad, you see it first through the garage window–the police car that stops next to the curb by our home. You watch as the officer gets out of her vehicle and heads up the walk to our front door. Wiping the black, greasy dirt from your hands, you head inside.
The doorbell rings.
Mom, you saw the patrol car, too, and you’ve beat Dad to the door. You don’t have a good feeling about this. Why would a police officer be coming to our house on a Sunday afternoon? you wonder.
After introducing herself, the officer asks if she can come in for a moment. As she enters the house, all three kids arrive in the entry way to see what’s going on.
“We’ve been trying to reach you all morning and early afternoon,” she says. “When we finally got a busy signal, we realized someone must be home.” Everyone looks at the older sister.
“I haven’t been on that long,” she says.
“I’m afraid there’s a problem,” the officer continues. “Mrs. Smith, your father’s been in a pretty bad auto accident. He’s at Mercy Hospital. It happened this morning about 9:15. He was able to give us your number before they wheeled him into surgery. He said you were the only family he had in town. I have to tell you, it doesn’t look good. We’d like you to come to the hospital right away.”
Questions to Think On
• Mom, what would be going through your mind? What would be the first five things you would do?
• Dad, what would be going through your mind? What would be the first five things you would do?
• Have either of you faced a situation like this? Do you know anyone who has?
• Each person responds to bad news differently. Are there any specific ways Christians should respond when hearing news of this nature?
• How would you react if it was one of us kids in the hospital instead of a parent?
What Does God Have to Say?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28