Our Promise: We Will Never Forget

recounting

never forgetIt started with a fall

When Dave fell off a roof and shattered his heels, we promised God we will never forget. We haven’t.

Seventeen years ago today – on a Wednesday afternoon – Dave called and asked me to bring ice for his feet. He’d slid off a roof, and his feet were hurting. I turned the burner off in the kitchen where I was canning green beans and headed into town with a cooler of ice. On the way there, I called our pastor who just happened to be in town. He got to Third street before I did and I knew, when I saw his face, that Dave had more than a sprained ankle. Forget the ice. We headed to the hospital.

X-rays showed shattered heels – both of them. Like a shattered, intact windshield, every piece was still in place. Dave hung onto the button for his Morphine drip like a baby clenching a pacifier, and declared this pain was worse than having a baby. I was certain he did not know what he was talking about, and I told him so.

August 11, 2004 became a day forever etched in our minds.  We will always remember the goodness of God on that day and the months following.

When Dave slid off the roof, he “heard” a Voice in his mind telling, “Don’t grab the gutter.” So he didn’t. Instead, he dropped safely between a propane tank and a window air conditioner in the grass. A few days later I went back to the house and saw the prints of his heels where he landed. I realized how hard was his fall for those prints to still be there, marking the spot where I could have become a widow. And I cried.

and ended with healing

There were days of pain, frustration, and exhaustion. We staggered under the weight of the emotional trauma in this man who always took care of everyone else. Now, he needed help to take a shower. Dave was besieged at the feeling of uselessness and dependence on others.  I was blindsided that it mattered so much to him. One day, he knew, he’d be out of the wheelchair and able to work again.

The future looked so difficult to navigate, but we watched, amazed, as God parted the waters of our Red Sea. He made a way through our wilderness.  He used circumstances and people and events to do it without any help from us. God’s people were so generous, giving financially and helping with  other needs in our family.

never forgetA command to “never forget”

When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River after their 40-year wandering in the wilderness, they carried twelve stones out of the river.  Those twelve stones were to build an altar. God told them to to this, and He had a reason.

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.

We watched God part the waters and make a way for us, and we promised Him we will not forget. Healing does not always mean complete restoration. Dave’s ankles always hurt; he is unable to pivot. Softball, his favorite sport, is no longer a part of his life. But we are healed. Today, we remember with awe and with praise.

God help us to never, ever forget.

Pinterest Never Forget

I keep telling the story because I can’t help it. If you want to read other writings on this instance, you can read our daughter’s account here. 

You can also read the one titled “Just Hush” here.

Photo credits:

12 stones photo: www.freebibleimages.org

featured image: Gertrude Slabach