When the granite comes careening down the hill vibrating on eighteen wheels and a trumpet blast echoes through the town and you are eight years old, you don’t remember anything about glass shattering or trucks crashing or walls shearing off buildings. That part is blank.
People say when you suffer a tremendous impact, the kind that sends your brother through a windshield and one of your sisters to a place underneath the dashboard bleeding through auburn curls that you black out. Other people say the sort of thing that cuts up your grandfather and slams your other sister backward makes the memory all a blur.
It is not true.
There is no black, there is no blurring.
These imply seeing.
You didn’t see anything.
You didn’t see the crashing or the throwing. You didn’t hear the shattering or the boards being splinter-ripped from their nails. You didn’t feel the throwing and the knocking about. You didn’t feel the weight of the granite bearing down as it pushed the bed of the pickup truck into the cab you were in, metal crunching accordion-style.
It is nothing to you.
Except it wasn’t nothing.
Not to the policeman standing nearby realizing he’s still alive as the granite whooshes past his body.
Not to the lady who is watching a soap opera when the wall of her living room is torn off.
Not to your mother who is watching it all unfold in slow time across the street.
It is nothing to you, that blank space, even when all the cuts have been bandaged and the bumps have been examined and you hear the grown ups talk about what a miracle it was that no one was seriously injured, because you just don’t know where you really were when it was all happening.
Until you have to get into the passenger seat of a car.
That’s when terror tries to fill in the blanks.
The slippery serpent of fear waits for an opportune time to strike and it was a warm October day when a flat bed truck carrying tons of granite rock lost its brakes exiting I-89 and slammed into a pickup truck carrying four little kids and their grandfather that an opportunity came. Fear tried to wedge its lie into the heart of an eight year old girl that day and for forty-five years she has engaged in the rugged warfare where terror tries to get the upper hand in everything.
He comes with rock splitting grace.
A river of grace and truth flows from a high place and there is no stopping it.
Sometimes the grace river trickles through your day making small erosions in the what ifs.
Sometimes the grace river roars through your night toppling fear boulders that threaten to suffocate.
In the long run you realize it is a good warfare.
It is good because it’s where you find your King.
And when you find Him, the One who took all the weight of every sin rock upon Himself, you realize that in the blank places, the mystery places, you have actually been hidden in the cleft of the only Rock that matters.
Once you realize that He has hidden you, that it is He who fills in all the blanks, you realize it is He that makes you stand in peace.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer…
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.