Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AMAZING (04/19/18)
- TITLE: An Oxymoron Day
By Phillip Cimei
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Jack got into his gun-metal grey Chevy and headed down the mountain. Next to him, a paper sack containing two bologna sandwiches and a kosher pickle—a routine delicacy his wife made every day. Off he went.
Most people would have basked in the awe-inspiring drive. God’s handiwork—tall pines blanketing the mountain slopes and the misty clouds settling on their tops like cotton candy on display at a carnival. Maybe God was trying to get Jack’s attention today.
The night before brought a light glazing of freezing rain, not to noticeable, but when you are winding down a treacherous mountain with steep cliffs to your right and jagged rocks to your left, any addition to this hazardous venture could be deadly at any moment. But Jack knew his car was roadworthy. You know, change oil every three thousand miles, new tires at the least sign of wear, and always getting the brakes checked and replaced. That wouldn’t matter today.
Jack felt a jerk in the steering wheel. His heart took a skip in beat. He grabbed the wheel tighter. It again jerked. Ice! The front started drifting to the left. Jack countered. His eyes now bulging. Screams of terror bellowed from his quivering lips as the guardrail quickly wrapped its mouth around the front of his car chewing it up and spitting it out to the other side of the road.
Steam and the noxious smell of anti-freeze soon would be overtaken by the sound of shattering glass and moans of bending steel. His mind spun like a top. A Semi, faltering on the ice, loomed in the distance. Jack cried out, “Oh, my God!
Panic set in. Jack, like a drowning victim grasping for each saving breath, floundered in his thoughts, searching for some saving comfort, “Did I do what I was supposed to do to get to heaven? Elizabeth? Oh, God. Save me!” A bright flash, then darkness.
Jack woke from a three-week coma. Elevated casted legs were supported by slings hanging from the ceiling. Likewise, casted arms extended in a semi-circle braced to his side with supporting rods, his face and upper body wrapped like a mummy. His eyes fluttered. It was blurry at first then an angel appeared. His angel. Elizabeth.
Elizabeth stroked his arm and said, “Praise the Lord, Honey. Welcome back”
Jack’s voice crackled, “God saved me, Elizabeth. He saved me. It’s unbelievable.”
Elizabeth just grinned and in a nonchalant manner said, “Oh, I don’t know that that was such an unprecedented thing.”
Jack’s face froze in place after his eyebrows shot up and his lower jaw plummeted.
Elizabeth leaned down and caressed his hand with her cheek, “Yes, God does some amazing things. But not just when death is breathing its cold breath in our face.
“What do you mean? I almost died today…or…yesterday…how long have I been here?
“Jack, you have been in a coma for a long time. And yes, God did spare your life. And It was unimaginable.”
Jack couldn’t move or even express his confusion over her statement by sitting up, throwing his arms in the air and screaming out, “Woman, what are you talking about?”
“Jack, I too drive that road every day. I pray every morning for God to watch over me. And He does. That’s incredible.”
“I guess I never really thought about that,” said Jack.
“Those trips that you have been taking every day for the past twenty-five years may have seemed ordinary, but God was with you every second of that trip. That’s extraordinary. Wouldn’t you say?”
Jack’s body recovered, so did Jack’s faith in God’s constant providential care. Life resumed. But the ordinary became a little more extraordinary.
Today, the morning coffee smelled a little more aromatic. Jack and Elizabeth’s good-by kiss made his heart flutter a little, and his morning prayer became seasoned with much more praise for God’s guiding and protective hand. Off he went.
Jack glanced down at the paper bag sitting next to him. Inside, a chicken salad sandwich, an apple and a note from his wife. It read, “Have an extraordinary day, Honey. As usual.”
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