Commentary: When the good outweighs the bad

On Sept. 23, my 8-year-old-son, Noah, was hit by a car while crossing Warrior Drive in Frederick County near Stephens City on his bike. I was riding alongside Noah, pulling my 2-year-old daughter behind me, but we were separated while crossing. I watched and waited for Noah on the other side of the road, but when I moved to allow cars to turn, I lost sight of Noah for a moment … and in that moment, I heard a crash.

Please understand that what follows is not a story of despair, a criticism of someone’s driving, a complaint for the county, police or anyone else. There’s enough criticism and negativity out there, isn’t there? This is a story of love, faith and overwhelming gratitude.

Seeing your child lie still in the road creates a lump in your heart and a numbness in your body that’s hard to explain. When I reached Noah, he was unconscious, but he was breathing. He was also not alone – a lady was calling 911, a man was holding Noah still to prevent any further injury, and at least two other men (possibly more, but my memory is a bit clouded) were on the scene.

Those other two men were both pastors. In what was my most fearful moment as a mother, one of the gentlemen put his hand on my shoulder, told me he was a pastor and asked to pray for Noah. The other said that he, too, was a pastor. Together we prayed the first of many prayers that would be said for Noah.

Noah soon regained consciousness and opened his eyes. More folks stopped to help – they directed traffic, loaned their phones, retrieved needed items, helped with my daughter, provided comfort for me and for the driver, and assisted in other ways.

As Noah became more alert, I looked around at all the angels God had sent to us. It was no coincidence that two pastors were right there – literally right there – when Noah was hit. Whether the pastors or others, someone was continually praying over Noah and  consoling us. The presence of God and compassion of strangers was overwhelming.

The paramedics arrived quickly and began to prepare Noah for his first ambulance ride. My husband arrived and was comforted by the same wonderful people who eased me. Noah and I traveled to the hospital, where a trauma team was waiting. After 20 minutes, good news started rolling in – one after another, scans came back showing no broken bones, no internal damage and no major injuries.  Hospital staff and policemen showered Noah with praise for wearing his helmet. Calls and messages from family, friends and other prayer warriors provided reassurance in our time of need. Over the next few hours, there was some uncertainty regarding a possible kidney hemorrhage, but a final scan showed his kidney was only bruised.

We settled in for the night with a sense of relief. My sweet boy was hit by a car traveling 40 mph, but thanks to the grace of God and  Noah’s trusty helmet, he was coming away with only minor injuries! He had a concussion, bruised right kidney, and plenty of scrapes and bruises … all of which would heal just fine. We were discharged following a final round of tests Thursday morning, and soon enough Noah was home, building with Legos.

It was there at home that feelings of tremendous gratitude began to overpower me. I kneeled on my bathroom floor and cried tears of joy, praise and thankfulness for the miracle that God had granted my family. He sent us angels disguised as strangers from our community. He united family, friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses, police officers, paramedics, coworkers, church members, teachers, students and individuals in prayer for an 8-year-old boy, and in turn reminded us that with him, all things are possible.

At the accident scene, I was so focused on Noah that I didn’t get the names of the people who came to his side. We’d love to hear from those who were there and personally offer our thanks. We want them to know how grateful we are that they stopped, that they cared, that they prayed, that they helped in any way.

Noah’s accident was a terrible occurrence … but the love and kindness surrounding this incident is what has prevailed, and it’s what our family will always remember.

Sara Schurtz Lewis works is a systems coordinator in Winchester and volunteers as a children’s minister for Reliance Church.