glass

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It’s funny how fast it happens.

He was lost in the blind spot between the curve of the door and the rim of the bumper. For a second, it’s like he didn’t exist. But he does, and he reminded the other driver with the crunching curl of metal into the side of the car.

But he doesn’t remember that. He only knows Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon among friends at church. It was a pretty afternoon. Warm for fall.

Then his mind skips a day and a half, like a record skipping a song and lurching into the middle of a second. Now he’s in the hospital, his body rejecting meals he doesn’t recollect. That second song isn’t so pretty.

It’s moments like this, people come together or fall away. And I’m grateful, as a bystander, for the friends we share. They have cycled in and out of the hospital’s doors since soon after he entered them himself. They have come together and prayed. They have marveled at the miracle that it wasn’t worse.

He lies tucked in a blanket, his arms wrapped in bandages, cords coursing from his chest to a dozen electronic measures. He is surprisingly upbeat. He gives a rundown of his injuries like a first-year hospital resident ticking them off for an attending. Broken arm. Broken hip. Broken clavicle. Road rash. Concussion. Sprained ankle. Sprained knee….

It’s sobering. It could have gone differently. Seeing him there, his usually large presence seeming almost small in the hospital bed, is a reminder of how fragile we are. Like glass.

And frailty is an equalizer.

Yet, sometimes, God cups his hands and cushions the full brunt of the blow.

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