Today marks the 24th anniversary of "the accident." On August 30, 1984, our car was hit by a speeding logging truck and shoved into a fatal embrace with an oak tree. Greg and I each broke both of our legs (as well as sustaining many other injuries). Lindsay (3) and Danielle (5 mos), who were strapped into their car seats behind us, were miraculously unharmed.
Our four-year-old autistic son, Jonah, didn't fare so well. As a friend put it at the funeral, "Jonah fell asleep in his daddy's lap and woke up in his Father's arms."
Twenty-four years after that terrible event (which included me being cut from the car with the jaws of life), the wild pain has abated. We still miss Jonah a lot--we were telling funny Jonah stories with the family just last night. But in his absence, God birthed some new things in my broken, but healing, heart.
First of all, I have a deep longing for heaven. Before the accident, heaven was just "pie in the sky" to me. That "sweet bye and bye" seemed very far away. Since Jonah's death, however, a part of my heart resides in the heavenly places. There's a longing in my spirit, a groaning to be in my real home every time I worship. I can't sing songs about heaven without weeping. Not because I'm sad--I'm just homesick! Jonah's death opened my eyes to the truth that heaven is our real home. Everything down here is just passing away.
Secondly, I have a deeper appreciation for the sanctity of life. Life is a gift from God--even life that we deem sub-standard in our society. Too deformed, too slow, too old, too much trouble--we find so many reasons to snuff out that sacred spark. All life is precious to the Creator, though. Jonah's autism made life more difficult for us--and him--at times. But he was such a gift from God and his brief life touched so many people. And he continues to do so.
Which brings me back to my blog title. Sarah Palin rocks! Her list of accomplishments as a politician are impressive. But what impresses me most about Sarah is her character. She's a believer, a hard-working Alaskan woman, a mother of five. She loves to hunt, fish, snowmobile and eat mooseburgers. If I still lived in Alaska, I'm sure we'd be best friends :)
Did I mention that her last child was born with Down's Syndrome? Not only did Sarah choose to give birth to this special baby, she publicly thanked God for him! In an age where at least 60% of women who find out they are carrying a Down's Syndrome baby choose to abort, Sarah took a hard stand and did the right thing. And I know from experience that Trig will bless their family beyond their wildest imaginings.
So far, the biggest criticism I've heard about Sarah being McCain's VP pick is that she doesn't have any foreign policy experience. That can be quickly acquired, I would think. But what she does have--and what Obama is lacking--is the fundamental understanding that human life is sacred. Period. She has aligned herself with the very heart of the Creator on this issue--a very wise position, if you ask me.
I was blown away by a line from a movie (The Boys Next Door) several years ago. The gist of it was this: A nation's greatness is judged by how it treats its weakest members. I actually googled this phrase and found this sentiment has been echoed throughout the ages, from Aristotle to the present Pope.
And I'm pretty sure Sarah Palin would add her "amen" to that statement, too.
And there's probably no elections in heaven, but I think I know how Jonah would cast his vote . . .