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Monday, April 09, 2007

Here it is again--April 9th. Three years ago today that the accident happened and my wife was taken. As much as I might like to forget that this day exists--strike it from the calendar and just live with the other 364 days--it just keeps coming around. In reality, though, it's no different than any other day when I miss her. No different than my children's birthdays or holidays or Saturdays or any other day when I catch myself wishing she were still here. I'm in the middle of writing an article for a magazine about the accident. It's caused me to think and reflect on what has happened these three years. They seem like forever. I remember looking through the things that were pulled from the crash--golf clubs, suitcases, new clothes we had bought for the kids, books and other items. All of them had been thrown violently around the van as it tumbled down the side of the road. As I thought back on that this week, I was struck by what a vivid picture that has been of our lives. Tossed and turned and thrown violently upside down. Some things are broken and beyond repair. Others carry with them scratches and dents. Some were never seen again after the accident. One book, in particular, carries smudges of blood from someone in the accident. Friction and force will do that to an object. But friction also does something else to an object--it refines it. Like the sandpaper that works against the wood or the file that smooths out the metal, friction can make some things better. And over these last 3 years that has been my choice. Will I allow God to use this to make me better, to smooth out my rough edges? Or would I rather become dented, broken and unusable? That's a choice we all must make. No matter what you go through or what life throws at you, you alone decide what becomes of it. Call it looking for the silver lining, being an optimist or whatever you choose. For me it has literally been the difference between living a life of useless existence filled with bitterness and rage or living a life that points others to my Peace. Without Him I am nothing, with Him I can be something amazing. And, like the book on my shelf, I carry around within me the smudges of His blood--images of another life changed by the reality of Easter!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet again, tears flow from my eyes and my heart is inspired... you are a blessing and I've been praying so muchy for you and the kids!

-Heather Yordy
hayordy@yahoo.com

Matthew said...

Ridley,

First let me say that I am so glad to be a part of Ridgeview Community Church and even more excited about where God is leading us! I love this place and look forward to hearing the Word each week and meeting new people! I do not know if you knew this but I was there at the funeral for Sarah and Josh back in 2004 and my heart hurt for them then as it does now because you hurt! I do not know why God has given me this heart but I wept when I was there and I did not even know Sarah, Josh or you at the time just that my friend Eddie's friend Ridley had lost his wife and son in a car accident. I will never forget that day and what I wrote in my journal afterwards. Sarah touched me in a way that I cannot explain. The words of the men and women who spoke so gentle and loving about her and how she made a lasting impression in their lives speaks volumes to who Christ was in her. I know that Sarah was an amazing woman and that you had an incredible wife. I am glad that I was there so one day when I meet her with you I can say Thank You for "living Jesus" back on earth and for speaking to me without saying a word. I love you Ridley and I am praying for you. I look forward to the many days ahead that we are able to "live Jesus" together and reach those who are seeking for the one and only answer here that provides eternal life! Jesus Christ
In His Hands Forever,
Matt C.