Opening his eyes, Mark was nearly blinded by the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles parked along the narrow county road. He couldn’t remember what had happened. He couldn’t remember where he was.
“Mark?”, a voice rang from close behind, startling him. He then quickly spun around to face the person that had called his name.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you!”, the man said, extending his hand to Mark in the form of a greeting, “The name’s Jack.”
Reaching for Jack’s hand, Mark responded, almost stuttering from the shock of the mayhem taking place, “Wh…what’s going on? What …happened?”
“You were involved in an accident, Mark. The car that you were traveling in crashed through this guardrail,” Jack said, as he pointed to the battered steel railing that now lie crumbled on the shoulder of the road. After seeing the look of shock on Mark’s face suddenly change to a look of immanent fear, Jack added, “You’re going to be fine Mark! Come with me. I’ve been asked to take you home.”
The expression on Mark’s face slowly, but steadily eased, as he nodded his head in acknowledgement of Jack’s assignment. The two of them began walking down the dark road leaving the chaotic scene behind them. It only took Jack about a half dozen steps, or so, to realize that Mark was no longer following him. When Jack turned around, he saw Mark standing at the edge of the guardrail.
Mark stood motionless, staring down the steep ravine at the mad rush of paramedics and patrol officers that encircled Harry’s car.
“HARRY!”, Mark let out a terrified scream at the very instant that the memory of the horrible tragedy reentered his mind.
“HARRY?”, Mark screamed again, this time in Jack’s direction. “WHERE’S HARRY?”
“Harry is being tended to by the others, Mark”, Jack responded with a sad tone in his voice. “Come on. I’ve got to get you home!”
“NO! I’M NOT LEAVING”, Mark yelled as he bounced over the mangled guardrail. Jack ran to stop Mark, but not fast enough. In the mere seconds that it took Jack to make it to the edge, Mark had already descended a quarter of the way down the steep slope. Jack sighed. There would be no stopping Mark from completing his new found mission.
After a few more seconds that felt like hours to him, Mark finally made it the bottom of the eerie pit that had swallowed Harry’s car. The car was lying on its top. The emergency personnel were frantically trying to remove Harry from the steel belly of his crushed Camero.
Leaping over the empty beer cans that littered the ground around the car, Mark ran up to the driver’s side window of the twisted pile of metal. Tears flooded his eyes when he saw Harry lying dead amongst the rumble.
“NO! NO!”, Mark screamed. “NO! HARRY, NO!” His heart ached for his friend, as his hands shook from the horror.
Through tear stained eyes, a look of bewilderment overtook his face. The paramedics were on the passenger side of the car, not the driver’s side where Harry was lying. “Was there someone else in the car with us?”, Mark thought. Kneeling down and looking over Harry’s lifeless body, uncontrollable fear swept across Mark at the sight of what his eyes beheld.
The paramedics were using the “Jaws-Of-Life” to remove pieces of the car from around a body in the passenger seat. It was Mark’s body that the paramedics were working to free.
His tears had all but stopped, but the fear that engulfed his senses prevented Mark from speaking the utter disbelief at what his eyes were showing him. After a few moments, he stood, gazing off at nothing in particular.
“Mark!”, Jack called as he took his first step onto the bottom of the gulley.
“What’s going on? This can’t be real! What’s happening?”, Mark asked, still in a state of shock.
“This is all real Mark! You and Harry died when his car hit the bottom of the ravine!”, Jack explained. “I’ve been sent to take you home!”
Instantly Mark began to sob.
“Harry?”, through the heart wrenching cries Mark continued, “Where’s Harry?”
But even as he uttered the words, Mark knew the answer. He had never spoken with his friend about Jesus, even though he knew that Harry was not saved. Now it was too late!
Jack hung his head and said nothing.
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