Four years ago today a family in our little town was involved in a car accident. It was a Friday night, and they had been to "open house" at school. Their 11 year old daughter was excited to begin 6th grade. So she brought her school supplies to put in her locker and came to meet her teacher and see all of her friends before school started on Monday.
We didn't see them that night. Although our daughter, Alex was the same age, we didn't go to open house, and instead went to the local football "jamboree," a kind of pre-season football scrimmage. Our son Cole was a freshman, and on the football team, so we went to the jamboree instead. I remember that night so well. It POURED and I mean POURED down rain. We sat in the stands watching the kids play and just got soaking wet.
As we headed back home after the game, and back into town to pick up Cole from the team bus, we came upon an accident scene like nothing I have seen before. More highway patrol cars than you can imagine. Lights everywhere. And just off the edge of the road a dark pickup truck that had obviously been involved in a horrible accident, and bob-tailed semi-truck off the road as well. We drove by and I remember saying a prayer for those involved and then we headed home. Within an hour my telephone was ringing. The owners of the dark pickup truck were a family in Eldon. The mom a local girl from our little town. The dad a highway patrolman. Their daughter, a friend of my daughter. She had been to my house many times, and Alex to her house. Their son, a few years younger.
I will spare you the details, but the little girl never regained consciousness. The rest of the family sustained minor injuries, the brother, a broken collar bone, but the daughter, well, the impact of the accident was on her side of the truck.
Today, my daughter and all of her friends are wearing pink in honor of the little girl. Pink was her favorite color. I ask for each of you to lift this family before the Lord today and ask Him to strengthen them, and encourage them. It has been a difficult road for them as we can only imagine. They have a new blessing in their family, another son. But I know that the memory of their daughter never leaves their mind, and the memory of that rainy night four years ago.
Today I am praying for them, and for all of the girls in that group of friends who are remembering their friend today. And tonight, I will hold my daughter, and son, a little bit tighter, and give them both an extra hug as they head off to bed. And I will thank God for my blessings. Please remember this family in your prayers today.