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Beauty for Ashes

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

I was listening to a podcast and had to stop. It suddenly reminded me of the worst day, and something I had forgotten to do. I needed to pray for someone I needed to forgive.

I talk about what happened to our family and especially what happened to our daughter. But there is one thing I rarely discuss, the accident that took her best friend.

It was in June1995, high school graduation day. It was the day before Father's Day. Holly wanted to go to the ceremony, but she had just gotten out of the hospital so I said "no," or she would also have been in that car.

Four teens piled in a car and headed away from school. The driver was a guy whose name I don't remember. Next to him was Lee Ann. There were 2 girls in the back. The teen driver crossed the double line. He had a head-on collision with a truck. The people in the truck were okay. All the kids in the car were injured. Lee Ann was airlifted to MCV in Richmond VA. I got a call from MCV. I was informed there had been an accident by the chaplain. The chaplain found Holly's phone number and was trying to locate Lee Ann's parents. I would not let him talk to Holly as I explained she had just gotten out of the hospital and was ill. I told him Lee Ann's mom was a letter carrier, who was most likely at the Post Office. I asked about the accident, but he could not tell me anything. I asked him to call me back after he talked to her parents. He later did. That was then I learned Lee Ann had died. We rushed Holly back to the hospital after telling her the terrible news.

It never occurred to me to pray for the young man who was responsible for Lee Ann's death or to ask for forgiveness for him. But God is not bound by time and space. On the worst day, I did not think to pray. But I can do that now.

Do you have a worst day somewhere back in time? The Prince of Peace, Jesus, gives us the peace that passes understanding about a moment in time when tremendous hurt occurs and give us beauty for ashes.

Isaiah 61:3 "and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."

Here is a link to the podcast that sent me back in time:

The title of the podcast is Life and Hope after an Accidental Death with Jennifer Eikenhorst

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