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  • Rev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

Lessons from the Sidewalk

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


The day was going super well. I had had a productive morning as an exhibitor at a Senior Day Fair, the day was beautiful and all was good. It was 1300 hours and I was on my way to visit a new patient. At 1340, parked my F-150 and walked toward the next block where my destination awaited.


Suddenly, I felt my nose crumple flat, and I was face-to-cement with the sidewalk point blank. Said another way, I tripped and my face just got planted into the sidewalk. (I prefer planting flowers, actually) Laying there and moaning, all I could think about was "I've got to wipe myself off and go see my patient." Yes, I can picture all of you dedicated healthcare professionals out there nodding. That is until I was lifting my face up and saw blood dripping onto the sidewalk. Maybe, but not today, I finally realized.

Lesson 1-Sometimes, no matter how set we are on doing something, circumstances can overrule us. In this case it was a cracked sidewalk, a shoe that caught one of the edges of it, and gravity. Remember, gravity isn't a concept, a theory or a nice idea. It's the law!


As I was moaning in pain, and saying "No, No, No repeatedly, I heard someone call out, "Are you alright?" Looking down the sidewalk I saw a woman and a young man coming toward me. This is what I called "the God part of the story." As it turned out, the woman was a nurse and had seen the entire thing unfold. Why do I call this the "God part"? First, what are the chances when you have an accident, a medical emergency no less, that a medical professional would be in just the right place at the right time and witness the whole thing? Even better, how about a medical professional who lives a mere two houses away from where you went down? Well that was the case in my case. Second, the young man with her, a step-son, was named, Isaiah, the name of one of the most significant Old Testament prophets.

Lesson 2- God is never far away from us. Just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn't recognize the stranger as the risen Christ, until he broke bread (Luke 24:13-35),God gave me evidence that was way too "coincidental" to just be mere coincidences. To the contrary, Divine fingerprints were all over these.


Friends, evidence for God's desire to be in a close,loving relationship with us started at the beginning of time when He first created the world, created the first couple. Even after they got evicted from the Garden, God still reached out and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). Then some 2,100 years ago, He reached out to us through, His Son, Jesus Christ. Not with religion, but with relationship. Big difference. Religion is a human construct. Relationship? 100% God's concept, creation, reality. An older pop song asks, "What if God was one of us?" In Christ, He was.


What's my big takeaway from the sidewalk encounter? That God is still reaching out to us, even today. And He's never far away from us. He wants to get up close and personal. Go ahead-ask Him yourself. He doesn't bite---honestly. Let go, and let God.


Next time people,

Rev. Carlene


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