It was not until it was dark and I was exhausted that we found out that the electrical circuit that I had been working on all day was formerly connected to the lights in the upstairs bedrooms and hallway. So, Randa took a lamp upstairs and plugged it in so she could work on the computer. As her project continued way past my bedtime, I kissed her goodnight and headed down the hallway, passing the stairs just outside the room where she was working. Knowing how easy it would be to take a wrong step in the dark, I warned her, “Be careful when you come to bed.”
Apparently forgetting how weary I was, she thought I was teasing her about a potential romantic ambush. I was too tired to even notice she had missed my completely serious admonition.
A couple of hours later, I heard a bit of commotion in the hallway. I shot up out from under the covers and ran into the hallway, bumping into the wall on the opposite side and hurrying toward the stairs. In the faint blue glow of the computer screen reflecting out of the office room, I saw her lying on the landing, six steps down, and was beside her in an instant.
She was conscious and in obvious, and understandable pain.
In the blindness between turning out the lights and her eyes adjusting to the dark, she’d felt the corner post by the steps and thought it was the second post that marked the end of the steps. She’d turned, thinking she was at the hallway, and walked right off into nothing. Her head bashed into the wall near the bottom of her fall, slamming her neck backwards. It’s a wonder she was conscious. I sat on the steps beside her, lightly stroking her side and shoulder until she decided she could get up; there wasn’t much else I could do at the time.
She has a concussion, a couple of jammed fingers, an extremely sore neck and back and several bruises. No breaks, at least none that showed up on X-ray. She managed to go back to work for a half-day yesterday. Getting over the aches will take much longer; some of them may be with her for the rest of her life. Injuries to the neck and back have a way of adopting us on a long-term basis. We are amazed and grateful that she is as mobile as she is already.
Whether because of our misunderstanding, our ignoring, our confusion or our stubbornness, we sometimes fail to heed the warnings that God gives us. Sometimes, we stub a toe or bump into a door. Sometimes, we land in a heap, crumpled, bruised, bleeding.
The God Who Loves Us comes to us, kneels beside us and touches us in gentle compassion and lifts us up to walk again. Perhaps slowly at first, but we do walk again. Until he has gathered into his arms and we rest until all the labors of this life are over.