From October 7, 2012
On September 19th, 2012, a 40 year old man made a wrong turn onto I-70 in Golden, Colorado. He traveled a short distance before colliding into an oncoming Chevy suburban. It was a one-way street and he went the wrong way.
The suburban plowed into the small car he was driving, and its passengers, a 35 year old father and his six year old son, were both unscathed. They got out to find the man in the smaller car pinned against his seat, unable to get out.
Another man, the first on the scene, ran to the driver’s side of the smaller car and began talking to the 40 year old man. He recounts that the man was incredibly calm and polite. He asked if there was anything he could do for the man while the father and his son ran to a nearby shop to gather fire extinguishers and first aid kits. The man trapped in his car simply shook his head and thanked the man.
Minutes passed and the engine began ticking. Seconds later, the car exploded with the 40 year old man still inside. He met his fiery death with peace.
This scenario haunted the man who had been the first on the scene for a few days. He spoke with his neighbor who attends Waterstone, where my father is a pastor. The man came to my dad and told him the story, and told my dad that this was a wake up call for him. He wanted to go to heaven.
“I looked in the man’s eyes as he was fatally pinned into his car seat, and I knew he was going to heaven,” he said. “There was too much peace for there to be anything else.” And since seeing this episode play out, he has wondered where he will spend his eternity.
It turned out that the man who lost his life was a bachelor who had graduated from Denver Seminary years earlier. I don’t know anything about him, except that the responder was absolutely right.
He is in heaven now.
Since my mom told me this story earlier today, I have been thinking about it a lot. I have wondered if I will contain that amount of peace in my eyes when I come to the end of my days. I wonder if my own passing, or more importantly, the life I lived beforehand, will shake someone. It’s crazy how God used a situation like this for good. He brought one of His sons home to Him, and at the same time, brought someone else into His kingdom. A life was lost and a life was gained.
Make your life worthy of your death.