Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crumple Zones and Crashes

The niece of a good friend of mine was badly hurt in this car accident just after Christmas in South Africa.  We are praying for her now as she passes through serious surgery and a prologed period of recovery from this dreadful ordeal.  The photo of the wreck was sent to me as an example of how bad such a thing can be, and how amazing it is that people sometimes survive such devastating impact.  I was interested in this picture, as it came to me just days after I had received something very similar from a pastor in the UK concerning a colleague working as a missionary in Spain who had also just survived a devastating head-on collision in that country.  Clearly, from his photo too, shown below, the escape was remarkable, even to the point of being nigh on miraculous.

In both sets of photographs it was clear to me that in these dreadful front-on crashes people had survived who should not have done by the mercy of God.  Along with that acknowledgement of Divine grace, I could see in the shots that both vehicles had collapsed in front of the passenger compartment, and in one case behind it too.  This was no accident either.  Car designers had planned it that way by the provision of 'crumple zones' - areas of the car's construction that will respond to huge impact by complete destruction, absorbing forces that would otherwise have been focussed on the driver and passengers.

Clever things, these crumple zones.  And they set me thinking.  There are certain factors that can be built into our lives to act in a similar way.  Tears, for instance, are created to be shed.  When they are, they bring release to those of us who have been through devastating crashes - and I don't mean just road traffic accidents!  Bible verses learnt when everything is dandy, and the sun is shining bright, will be there to come to the fore in crisis.  Lessons learnt in the school of prayer, even the disciplines of a healthy prayer life, may also suffer in a disaster but they will have already worked their magic, and could be life-savers.

There are more.  Forgiveness, good relationships with those closest to us, church friends, may all in their turn come up trumps in a crash.  So, thank God for crumple zones and Divine passenger compartments!

Drive safely!