Good Day to each of you reading this column and grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Turbulence and unrest, just the way Satan likes it! He loves to see man turn against man and woman against woman. The times of trouble are here, and Satan is doing his best to stir the pot in our world for he knows his time is short.
But take heed and faith for our redemption is near and our Saviour will not let us down, for as Paul said in 1st Timothy chapter one that it is a trustworthy saying, entitled to the fullest acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, to which we are one.
Turn to Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Recently, I went back into my archives and found the following article from the Star-Telegram headlined “Transformed by Tragedy.” The account was written by Ms. Melody McDonald, a staff writer for the Star-Telegram and on the front page of the Sunday issue back in 2006.
Let me set the stage for you—Ms. Corey Gober’s & Mrs. Mary Kamp’s lives would be changed in a mere sixty minutes by a “chance” encounter involving a fatal accident. “Chance” is a very loosely used word for there is no chance with God. Corey began the day by dropping off her kids to school and day care, then planned to meet a friend at a gym and work out. Corey had so much on her mind and had left her purse and tennis shoes at home. As Corey turned off the highway and headed toward home to pick up the items, cars suddenly started stopping in front of her.
A car had collided with a tanker truck.
Corey stopped for a second and looked, and then, as she started to go again, she recalled. “Then I said, ‘No, you need to stop.’ Corey felt like she needed to get out to see if she could help.”
“I think God was telling me, ‘You need to help this woman. You need to go there and talk to her, touch her or something.’”
Corey walked over to the passenger-side door of the mangled car. The door, partially opened, Corey peered inside, knelt beside the woman, reached out and touched her. “She was kind of startled,” Corey said. “I asked her what her name and where she was going.” The woman said her name was Mary, and that she had just dropped her kids off at school. “She wanted to know what had happened.” Corey said. “I told her that she had been in a terrible car accident. She said, ‘O my gosh, this is real.’ And I said, ‘Yes, this is real.’”
Corey wiped Mary’s head with a baby blanket she had taken from her own car. A man held Mary’s head, which was partly out the passenger-side door, to keep it still. Another man held an umbrella to shield them from the rain. When emergency officials arrived a short time later, they began cutting off the driver’s side door and removing the windshield, searching for a way to get Mary out of the wreckage. Corey never left her side.
Mary Kamp knew she was going to die.
Lying inside her mangled car, she calmly asked a favor of the woman who stopped to help her, the stranger holding her hand and picking glass off her face. “She wanted me to tell her children that she loved them.” Corey Goober said. “And to tell her husband that she was sorry.”
Mary, 36, was coughing up blood and having a hard time breathing. At the time she would talk, telling Corey about her 17-year-old daughter Amberly, an honor roll student and mascot at her high school. Mary talked about Olivia, her three year old daughter who was in day care. Mary repeatedly asked for her husband, Rusty. When Mary had difficulty speaking, Corey filled the silence telling about her own family.
Corey was with Mary for about an hour, talking to her, holding an oxygen mask over her face and shielding her from the broken glass as workers removed the windshield. Mary was never hysterical, very calm, but having trouble breathing.
Mary repeatedly told Corey that she was going to die to which Corey replied that she was going to be fine. Looking back, Corey said it seemed like Mary was actually trying to comfort her.
Toward the end, Mary would drift in and out of consciousness, asking Corey to tell her kids that she loved them and to tell her husband that she was sorry. Mary looked at me and said, ‘Corey, I’m going to die.’ Then Mary closed her eyes, “She was at peace, “Corey said.
Corey felt particularly bad for not praying with Mary, who she found later was a devout Christian. “I should have asked whether she believed in God, and I didn’t. I felt a lot of guilt for not praying with her when I should have.” Several hours after the wreck, Corey sat down at her computer and outed her pain into words.
Today I cried with Mary…
Today I cried with Mary for the pain she endured.
Today I cried with Mary for the memories that she was leaving.
Today I cried with Mary for the children that she loved.
Today I cried with Mary for the love she shared with her husband.
Today I cried with Mary for the family and friends left behind.
Today I cried with Mary for I knew all that she had left behind.
Today I am rejoicing for Mary for I know—-
she is with her Father in heaven.
As Paul Harvey says, now for the rest of the story—two days later, Corey and her husband, who had been separated for several months, and her four children attended church.
The next day Mary’s obituary came out in the paper.
Corey called the funeral home, asking whether it would tell the family that she was with Mary when she died and passed along her phone number. “Within 10 or 15 minutes, her husband called me, “Corey said. They talked for about two hours delivering Mary’s message to her family.
Corey met the family for the first time at Mary’s viewing and Corey attended the service the next day. A longtime friend and retired pastor presided over the service telling people to remember to always be kind and good to one another—as Corey had been to Mary—adding that he appreciated what she did for Mary and that he appreciated the Lord for having her there at that time.
Wait — Hold On — I’m not through—
At the time of the wreck, Corey was unhappy. She had been separated from her husband for several months and in contact with a divorce attorney. Corey was angry—angry with her husband, angry with God, and angry with the world. I wasn’t able to forgive. Corey’s children were ages 2,5,10, and 11 and possibly facing a tough divorce. Corey, a stay-at-home mom, realized that was not what she wanted and that she was taking life for granted. Mary showed her that.
Corey said she now thanks God every day for her healthy children and for having a husband who loves and cares for her. They are living together again and going through marriage counseling at their church. She thanks God and Mary for restoring her marriage, her faith and her life.
“I think we get caught up in our daily lives, with the running and going and all the hustle and we don’t slow down,” Corey said. “We seem to forget that when we walk out that door or when we hang up that phone, that could have been the last ‘goodbye’ and that could have been the last ‘I Love You.’ Every day, for somebody, that is the last one.”
“I think God used her and me both for two very different reasons,” Corey said. “It really wasn’t what I did for her, It was what God used her to do for me.”
Mr. Casillo ends his article with, “As we reflect on this story about Corey and Mary, let us praise God in all things especially those we take for granted each day.”
Editor: “Today I cried with Mary” Ms, McDonald wrote and Mr. Casillo uses her experience nearly 15 years ago to show how precious and important is Jesus’ second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This story will touch your heart in such a tender way that you should have your Kleenex tissues handy.