image courtesy of too many tabs
I was about half-way through a five-mile run when I heard the crash. I turned the corner to see a lifeless body in the road, a motorcycle off to the side, and a red Jeep Cherokee pulling over towards the curb. The next few minutes were busy — a lot happened fast — and I think I remember most of it. But the happenings of this day are not my point in writing. Suffice it to say that another guy and I performed CPR, and when the ambulance arrived there was a faint heartbeat but no breathing.
Our university’s goalkeeper died at the hospital a few hours later. [My position, oddly enough.]
I hadn’t known he was a Lipscomb student. I was new at school — transferred in as a junior only a few weeks before — and was still trying to convince myself it was a good decision when all this happened.
I had nightmares for the first few nights. I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing his face staring blankly back at me. The next week we had a devotional in the courtyard, and Chris’s friends led us in song and prayer. I went off to the side to sit down, and leaned against a tree.
A girl (I’d maybe met once) approached. She sat down next to me and confessed that she didn’t know what to say. But she put her arm around me, sat quietly, and let me cry for a few minutes. Then she got up and walked away.
Her response was perfect. I didn’t need someone to tell me it wasn’t my fault, or that Chris was better off, or that “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord….” I just needed someone to be there. That’s it.
Words are so very often overrated.
[Oh, and I’m not sure I ever told Natalie Montgomery thanks. Thank you, Natalie. Your small gesture meant a great deal to me.]