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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: A Tribute to a Prepared Stranger
By Tim Manzer


Two men were traveling one sunny Northern Michigan morning. Their destinations, plans, and goals for that day were completely different. The first man was traveling in a car on his way to a volunteer fireman class. His plan was to train a group of small town fire fighters so they would be ready to serve their community at a moment’s notice.

The second man traveling on that day was conducting a wedding rehearsal at a local ski-resort. The preacher’s original plan was to roar out to the rehearsal on his motorcycle. He planned to arrive at the nine a.m. practice, hurry through the wedding rehearsal as realistically as possible, and then jump on his motorcycle and return home. It was a gorgeous August day, and he wanted to spend as much of it with his wife as possible Then at about three o’clock he would put on his “get them married suit” and return to the resort for the outdoor nuptials. Unfortunately, plans have a way of changing.

Too late the biker saw the car run the stop sign. He had no opportunity to brake or even change direction. The loud sound of breaking glass and twisting metal filled the morning air. The man smashed through his motorcycle’s windshield and onto the front window of the tiny Ford. His body then burst through the windshield of the car. The forward movement of the car lifted the biker’s body into the air causing him to land upon the roof of the car and then come crashing down onto the asphalt country road.

The fireman, who was in his car directly behind the Ford, watched the accident unfold in front of him. He quickly drove his vehicle up to the injured biker. He immediately called for help on his fire radio. He hurriedly opened the car’s trunk pulling out his rescue gear, and ran to the bleeding body of the preacher.
The fireman did what he had been trained to do. In less then a minute after the accident he had the biker bagged and was pumping life-saving air into his lungs. He stopped the bleeding from his many wounds and prepared the broken stranger for his ride by helicopter to a waiting emergency team.

The Saturday morning traffic disaster had been very hard on the young preacher. He had a compound break of the right hand. Only one tiny tendon held the crushed hand onto his arm. His left hand received six breaks in just the wrist section. The cyclist’s sternum had broken at ribs “one” and “two”. These broken ribs had ruptured his lungs. His bladder had burst. His pelvis was in three painful parts. He had crushed his left leg and ankle. This father of two beautiful children whispered a final prayer, “Dear God, take care of my family.” Then he quietly waited in peace ready to die. The preacher had lived his life prepared to die; he was ready.

The preacher went from emergency room to surgery to I.C.U. Despite the extent of his injuries, God mercifully spared the biker’s life. Even after he was released from intensive care, the preacher still spent three and half months in a hospital bed undergoing further treatment. Because of his extensive injuries, the preacher would need further surgeries. He would also need about a year of occupational and physical therapy. The preacher’s life changed in other ways as well. Perhaps the biggest change was his attitude. He went from a crushed broken individual to a very thankful man that will always be grateful that he can still walk.

I am that young preacher who thought he was dead. I am so thankful for the skilled men and women who first trained and prepared, and then gave of their time for a dying stranger like myself. I had the gift of life restored to me by a trained stranger. I am still able to enjoy my life. I am still able to love my wife and kids. I am still able to serve my church and community, only now with a new sense of devotion. I have able to lead people to the Lord, counsel broken lives, pray at bedsides, weep at gravesides, and officiate at weddings. I have been able to do all of this since that day when I was broken in August. Beloved stranger, you were ready to do your part and so I live. You play a part in everything I do to bless others. Thanks!

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This article has been read 683 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noreen Ophoff01/10/08
Preacher, I was right there with you on your Michigan road. Good description of events, especially of your ongoing attitude in life.
Debbie Wistrom01/10/08
Wow, what a testimony and you tied it to the topic so wonderfully, keep writing.
Temple Miller01/10/08
We who've gone through similar experiences with critical injuries can praise God with Preacher. Good story!
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Inspiring, and beautifully written.
Nathan Perkins01/11/08
You took your readers to the very dramatic scene and introduced them to great people in the parametic and the preacher.

I'll bet you can do this even with stories that were not such shapers of your life.

Great job!
c clemons01/12/08
Very nice tribute, I also wonder what happen to the driver of the Ford? Surely this was life changing for them also. You are blessed.