No Greater Love

Sometimes we take for granted how our lives can be so drastically changed in just a few moments time. We sometimes also forget that others around us may be experiencing circumstances that we cannot fully comprehend.
Please allow me to share this life changing story with you. The life change will only come if you place yourself in this story and check how you would handle the circumstances. Would your response glorify our Lord or bring great bitterness to yours and other''s hearts.
Angela, Brian (her new boyfriend) and Jenny were at a wedding reception of a friend and decided to go pick up another friend. Knowing that she had had a couple drinks, Angela gave her car keys to Brian. Brian was unfamiliar with Angela''s car and was going to fast to make the corner on the unfamiliar road. Brian lost control of the car in the gravel, they were thrown off a cliff, bounced off of a tree and came to rest against another.
Within moments of the accident a off duty police officer saw the lights in the trees and called for help.
It was clear that all of the impact had been on Angela''s side of the car. Paramedics were at the sight in minutes where a human chain had to be formed to get to the car. Angela wasn''t breathing when they got to her. A paramedic (Bobby) from Arrow Ambulance got to Angela first. He ripped back the roof of the car and ''''jaws of life" were used to get her out of the car. Bobby held Angela as they pulled her up the hill and he never let go of her until the doctor at the emergency room told him that he had done all he could do.
Brian & Jenny were treated and released. Both had minor cuts and scrapes and Jenny had a fractured collar bone.
Angela however was not so lucky. She was diagnosed with major brain damage. The impact was so severe that her brain had actually bounced around inside her skull and her brain had been damaged in many areas. Angela stopped breathing several times the first several hours and Doctors had to remove part of her skull, bone fragments that were lodged in her brain and a section of her brain.
After being in a coma for 17 days, Angela began her battle for life. First she moved her finger then later she opened her eyes. She was later transferred to Spokane Respiratory Care Unit where she spent 8 months in intensive treatment and therapy.
With the abundant love and support of her parents, Angela has beaten all the doctors odds of recovery. Most accident victims are not as fortunate to have a family as special as the Underdown ''s. Tom & Patty don''t see what Angela can''t do, they see what she can. Her accomplishments are no little thing and they are grateful to have Angela alive.
Angela Understands everything you say, but cannot put thoughts together or verbalize them. Since the accident, Angela has not been able to cry. Angela''s nickname in high school was "Smily" and that hasn''t changed. Angela still has a smile that melts your heart when you see her. Patty said that Angela has made it easy for them and that Angela is a great teacher. With minimal assistance, Angela can get dressed and fvc meals. She likes to work on the computer and with daily practice she can write legibly. Recently while Angela was playing on the computer, Patty asked her to spell her name. Angela typed out Angel Underdown and Patty knew that she was right, she is their angel. One of her favorite things is swimming at the gym. With assistance Angela can walk and gets around quite well.
For the Underdown family, life will never be the same. Not only have their everyday lives changed, but their understanding of the grace, compassion, and love of God is being manifested daily in their lives as well as those who have the privilege to know this family.
Taking one day at a time is the only way that tomorrow is faced. They have learned to live with the unforeseen changes in their lives. Angela''s daughter who was 1 Yi years old at the time of the accident is 4 years old now. Kylie understands that Mommy has been in a car accident and that''s why she is not like other mommies. Kylie lives with her dad now and visits Angela on weekends and sometimes during the week. She likes to sit on Mom''s lap and read to her.
It wasn''t until we were asked for examples of humility in our bible study group that I realized how deeply my life was impacted by this family. I will never forget the images of the pride and praise of how well Angela was doing. The protection for Angela, knowing that she hears everything, to be sure that she never feels like a burden. They express the joy of having her with them still, how well she is doing and her continued accomplishments.
It makes one wonder how we would handle such a tragedy. Would we live out the devastation or would we focus on the little accomplishments and how huge they are in reality. Many would consider placing someone with Angela''s disabilities in one of the care facilities available to maintain some stability in their lives. But how many of us would allow every aspect of our lives to be dramatically changed forever. Many see the good thing being done, but do we realize how big this is in the Lord''s eyes. Because as you do to these, you have done unto Him.
I can only imagine the great reception on the Underdown ''s homecoming with the Lord. Great will be their reward. I sometimes wonder if the Lord has a special jewel made for their crown as they hear, "Well done my good and faithful servants!"
John 15:12-14
This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.