Bare cupboards, remembrance, and a serious accident changes eveything

This is the second edition of ‘Three small things’ – Eternity’s new column where we share ‘small stories’ submitted to Eternity.

Sowing the seed of Christ’s love – even when the cupboards are bare!

Kate shares the inspiring story of how her daughter, Emily, ministered in the most practical of ways to a woman from a South African township.

Previously, from Three Small Things ...

Recently, my daughter in law, Emily, who is living in Cape Town with her husband and two small children, had an extraordinary experience.

She has been in the habit of giving clothes to a woman from one of the townships on the margins of society and was recently cleaning their last rental property on the final day of leaving.

She found a bag of clothes and prayed that the Lord would bring this woman to knock on her door in the 10 minutes she had before leaving for the last time.

Five minutes later, the woman appeared at the door with a horrific tale of her son being killed when he ran in front of a car and with her having no food to provide for the funeral wake. Emily, of course, had a bare cupboard, but at this point she was moved to physically embrace the woman and drive her to the local shops, where, with both women crying, she purchased suitable foodstuffs for her, assisted by an old man who observed the scene and thrust money into her hand.

Emily was clear she was doing this out of the bounty of what Jesus had done for her. Having moved away, she will probably never see this woman again, but we hope she has sowed the seed.

Communion at home

John shares a moment of locked-down remembrance 

As we shared communion at home, we made do with grissini breadsticks.

Daughter number 2 remarked, “These taste too much of rosemary”. And for once I thought of the right thing to say: “That’s the whole point.”

“The only reason I can walk, talk, think or speak is that God prevented me from losing those things”

Jonathan shares how an awful car accident presented him with an opportunity to grow in his faith 

Five years ago, I worked a 40-minute drive from my home in Craigieburn, an outer Melbourne suburb.

One evening after work, I was driving at 100 km/h on the Hume Freeway when I noticed a semi-trailer truck was moving into my lane. I beeped my horn, but he kept on moving into my lane. All of a sudden, I realised he was going to change lanes into my lane, right on top of me!

Half a moment later, I felt a hard bang on the side of my little Festiva and found myself hurtling towards the embankment. I think I pushed down on the brakes very hard. Then I saw dark, light, dark, light – a few times, as my car rolled over and the ground covered my windows.

I must have gone into a state of shock, because I was numbly observing the situation at that moment. My car came to a stop, upside down in the emergency lane.

My first thoughts were two: One was that I wanted to mend things with my wife who I had been arguing with for a while. The other thought was, “I don’t need dramas anymore!”

For context on that one, I had often secretly wanted exciting things to happen, hoping they would draw people to God. Well, this was stressful enough!

I started screaming, suspended in the air by my seatbelt. A man came and helped me out of the car and I sat on the ground.

One of the amazing things that happened was that several passers-by pulled over to assist me. They included a dental nurse and a firey. A young man also came and it was clear he shared my Christian beliefs. The truck had not stopped, continuing on their way towards Sydney.

Ten minutes later, the emergency services arrived. The ambos checked my memory with a few questions and it was all good. Then they put me on a stretcher and into an ambulance.

They also put me in a neck brace because I could have suffered spinal damage. That had not crossed my mind and I had been sitting on the ground for those ten minutes. I now know that I should have lain down with my spine straight with someone holding my head still. Thanks, God, that you took care of me!

I never met the police officer present face-to-face, but he spoke to me when I was in the ambulance. He commented on the severity of the accident and said, “People have died from far less.” That comment has stayed in my mind and I often bring that to mind as I reflect on the fact that God saved my life that day.

Discharged from the hospital seven hours and many tests later, the only physical thing wrong with me was a little soreness on my back which went away after a week or two. I realised at one point that I could have felt intense pain in my legs if the accident had been worse. I felt very stressed for a while, so took two weeks off work.

Sometimes I say to myself or my friends, “The only reason I can walk, talk, think or speak is that God prevented me from losing those things.” I guess that is a good reminder to be thankful and live for him.

Although, as my life didn’t change much – since I was healthy – it is very easy to forget. Thank God he helps me along the way, guiding me through the Bible and his family. I have also reflected that it’s the same for every one of us – we can only walk or talk, or think or speak because God enables us to.

I hope that encourages you today.

Would you like to submit a “small story” of your own to be published in our ‘Three small things’ column? All Eternity readers are welcome to! Learn more here and submit here.