My son was in a motorbike accident at the age of 19. He hit a dirt mound on his way to work, 5 miles away, was airborne 31 feet before rolling numerous times end over end (91 feet), and was thrown from the bike. He lay out all night on frozen ground, in and out of consciousness, and wasn’t found until the next morning by a friend who went looking for him when he didn’t show up for work. He wasn’t wearing a helmet but they say if he had of been, his neck would have been broken and he was have died for sure.
A Worldwide Church of God elder came out to see him before he was moved to a second hospital and said his face “looked like raw hamburger.” Later that same day I got a phone call from the hospital saying his aorta was damaged and they had to operate right away and they said they wanted me to know he “might not make it.” After I fervently prayed, he came through it but was still on the critical list.
Due to his back being broken in a massive number of places, he was operated on two days later. It took seven hours because the surgeon had to pick the bones out of his back. We also didn’t know if he would be paralyzed for life. During the operation he had to have two steel rods placed in his back. All this time our minister never showed up, although he knew about the accident because we told him. But when we phoned him from the hospital he said he had really been wondering as they hadn’t heard. This minister did eventually pay a brief visit to the hospital, but my son said he was “scared” of him when he came into the room.
Needless to say, my son was in a lot of pain for quite awhile and lost 13 lbs. He couldn’t even get into his back brace at first due to the pain. The miracle in all this was that two weeks after the accident he was walking with a walker in the hospital and nine days from that time he was released from the hospital. It was hard to keep him down.
Two weeks after that we asked him if he wanted to go to services with us and he said “yes.” He had to recline in an awning chair in the back of the room because it was more comfortable. He hadn’t been attending for some time and said it was hard to go back. Our minister was out of town for a couple of weeks at the time, but we figured it would be okay if our son came. After all, he almost died! A few members were friendly the first time he came, but the second Sabbath when we had refreshments, only one teenager made an effort to come up to talk to him. I think the rest considered him “the bad apple.”
Well, our minister finally returned from his absence and didn’t say anything about him being there. (That is, until our son overslept one Sabbath and stayed home from services.) That day I went up to talk to him and he said, “I was surprised to see him here. He has to go through me before he can come to services. People just can’t walk in here!”
I remember how later how our minister just seemed to “forget about him.” He never asked how he was doing or anything. We had to bring it up first and one time when we started to tell him how our son was progressing, he just mumbled something like, “that’s good to hear” and shortly moved on.
A few weeks earlier, our minister gave a lecture to the whole congregation (while my son was in the hospital) about “how dangerous and foolish” it was for any kid in the church to get a motorbike and he added, “If any of you kids are thinking of getting a motorbike, maybe you’ll think twice now!!” And this was a minister that at first acted so nice when he visited my son in the hospital and asked how he was doing. So much for “God’s true ministers.”
What a terrible experience our son had to endure! He never went back to services after that. Many years have passed and he’s doing fine today with a family of his own and a good job. He is free to live his life without fear and judgmental attitudes from those who claim to be “God’s people” and our family relationship is so much better.
Oh, I forgot to say that a few years later we left also. There’s so much more peace and grace living in Christ than living in that so called “true church of God.”