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Unrecognized Grace

By Pastor Casey Higgins

Let us give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:8
At one of our recent small group meeting where we were sharing experiences of God’s intervention and care in our lives, I was reminded of an event I had long forgotten.

During my junior high school days, I had a job working at an orchard along with another classmate of mine. After school, we rode his motorcycle out to the farm where we changed sprinklers and performed other chores.

One evening after completing our work assignments, we climbed on his motorbike and headed back towards home. As we left the farm, our road descended a long hill in a winding S curve. As usual, we both hunched forward as he accelerated the throttle to full speed. Then as we were hurtling down the road, a large jackrabbit darted out into our path.

There was no time to swerve or slow down. Instantly we hit the animal and the motorcycle bounced upward into the air. We shot forward landing in a slide that nearly threw us off the bike. Somehow, we stayed upright as the motorcycle fishtailed and then straightened out. My classmate who was driving glanced back at me with eyes wide as saucers. I’m sure that my own expression was much the same.

Without stopping, we continued home, only briefly talking about it as we parted company at our houses.

I never mentioned the incident to my mother or my brother, and I’m sure my friend didn’t tell his grandmother with whom he lived. Gradually, over time, the experience receded into the background of my memory to only be recalled as I heard of other motorcycle accidents or mishaps.

Looking back, I now wonder how we missed the significance of what didn’t happen. How did I stay on the back of that bike? I was holding both of our thermos jugs in my arms, while clutching the sides of the bike seat with only my knees. How did we keep the bike upright? Why didn’t it flip over? What would have happened if we had been thrown from the bike? Death? Paralysis? Lifelong injury?

Perhaps what now amazes me is the lack of my own appreciation for what God obviously did! I think I must have thanked Him in my personal prayers but I don’t recall it! So now, nearly 50 years later I have the opportunity to thank Him for His ongoing kindness and grace, even when we may not grasp its presence or activity in our lives.