A Spiritual Presence On Any Given Friday

Friday we lost a dear young friend. He was hit by a car as he crossed the street for school. I was present when the accident happened. This is my story of an unimaginable heartbreak and the realization that the spiritual presence I sensed that morning was the answer to a prayer I’ve prayed many times…The Lord’s Prayer

Friday began as any other weekday morning. My daughter was rushing around to get everything perfect…the right bag, the right makeup, the right outfit. Every time she passed me I got the hurried reminder that we had to leave at 7:20, not a minute later. I sat calmly working as she was a whirlwind around me. My answer was always the same, a simple “Okay.”

Then the last second came and she began herding me out the door as she grabbed and dropped everything she needed for the day. We compromised on the radio station selecting on 104.7, because they play a mix of my “old time” 80’s hits and her current hip hop influenced dance music. We sang really loudly, talked about her friends, and laughed at ourselves. It was like any other Friday.

Until…

I dropped my daughter at the assigned back door entrance. There were several cars in front of me. We began the procession out of the parking lot to the right and to the light to make the left turn that would take us past the busy front entrance of the school where other students were assigned to enter in the morning.

I cannot explain what happened as we did this in a way that will give it justice. As we pulled away from the school and proceeded down the long driveway to the road, it was as if a hush came over the world. I physically felt a soft presence on my skin. I also felt like we were moving in slow motion, as if time had slowed down somehow. I clearly and distinctly thought “something is different.”

I began to slowly look around scanning for what this presence wanted me to know. As we continued around the corner I looked across the grassy field separating the road and front school parking lot. I became keenly aware of the bright morning sun laying a haze over the area.

I want to be clear that I had no premonition or sense of foreboding. I only had a tremendous sense of a spiritual presence that was not just enveloping me, but was laying a shield over our entire school community. I felt like I had left the “worldliness” of this world and entered the spiritual realm.

This was not my first encounter with the spiritual realm. I suddenly went into a coma in January 2009 and was given an 8% chance of surviving. I woke feeling as if I had one foot in this world and one foot in another more spiritual world. I struggled for some time after waking to accept that both feet had to land back in this world. The peace of the spiritual world was so warm and comforting that I did not want to leave it. However, I knew I was called back to this world for a purpose.

Given my experience with the spiritual realm, I did not question what the presence was on Friday morning. I recognized it as the hand of God offering protection. I felt I was being called to calmness, but I could not figure out what I was missing. I sensed that I was supposed to see something differently, but I did not know what that was.

We proceeded around the corner and my attention came back to the road. It was not uncommon for accidents to occur in this area as cars turned the corner just before the front exit to the school. I knew my full attention was needed on the road. As I turned my head I saw the lead car veer from our lane. I expected that car to hit another car, but then it came to a stop and glass flew everywhere. I could not comprehend exactly what had just happened. How could the accident I expected to happen seemingly be averted at the last second, yet glass was flying?

Sadly, it turned out that a boy had stepped directly in front of the car. A mother dropping her own child at school had just hit another mother’s child. He flew up over the hood of her car and into the windshield shattering it. She wailed in agony as he laid waiting for help to arrive.

I felt this tremendous spiritual connection. Yet there was absolutely nothing I could do, except one small thing. The flow of morning traffic had filled all lanes. The immediate stoppage as people from all directions instantly realized a tragedy had just occurred left no way for emergency crews to get to the scene. I realized that cars needed to pull into the field clearing the road. Although my car was not blocking the emergency vehicles, I hoped that maybe others would follow my lead if I pulled into the field. They did.

As emergency personnel worked to save the boy and clear the scene there was nothing for me to do, except leave so others could do their job. Honestly, I left the scene fully believing that he was going to live, because I knew the presence of God was upon us. When God is present all good things happen.

The boy was taken to the nearest hospital. It was determined that his injuries were too severe to be treated at that hospital. He was flown to the closest hospital with a fully equipped trauma center. It is one of the best hospitals our state has to offer, so I still believed he would be okay. After all, the presence of God was upon him.

Around lunch time I received an update. The words were coming…The boy was in critical condition and doctors were still uncertain. Then there was a pause, a long one. Finally, I heard the words, “He has passed away.”

I was in so much shock. I think I literally sucked all of the air out of the room with my reaction. That could not be true. I knew with certainty that God was present, so this could not be the end result. I thought this was a horribly cruel hoax, or at least a bad rumor. It took getting confirmation via a schoolwide call to all parents informing us of his death before school was released for me to believe the news.

When I first anticipated the accident that morning my entire body tensed up and never released. When I heard those shocking words it further tensed and remained so throughout the weekend. Nothing seemed to help.

My brain spent the weekend playing the “what if” game. What if I had seen him in the road? It would not have made a difference. From where I was I could not have stopped it. If I blew my horn from behind her, she would have looked in her rearview mirror, not in the direction of the boy.

What if I had known his injuries were fatal at the accident scene? I have no special lifesaving skills, so it would not have made a difference. I did all that I had to contribute at the time. I had the presence of mind to make a path for the emergency vehicles.

What if I missed a calling from God? What other reason could there be for me to have known the presence of God so clearly minutes before the accident? I knew He wanted me to see something differently. For whatever reason, He needed me to experience that period of time with at least one and a half feet firmly placed in the spiritual realm. But the boy died, so I had to have missed my calling.

I spent all weekend wrapped in this excruciating physical pain, because I had failed God. Pain killers, muscle relaxers, a river of tears did not take away this pain. It did not even relieve it a little bit. I have been given the honor to experience human life knowing the amazing pleasure of a true spiritual life beyond this earthly world, and how do I repay God for this gift? I failed to answer his call and a 14 year old boy died. This was my truth. I would have to live with this pain.

Until…

This morning was yet another school day and my daughter was running behind, except this morning was different. The bag had been left in the car on Friday, because she was distraught over the loss of her friend. Her makeup was perfect the first time. It was the outfit that she spent time on.

The principal made another schoolwide call on Sunday evening asking students to wear orange and blue in honor of Steven. His family had shared that those were his favorite colors. My daughter was upset about this.

You see they first met in third grade on a school playground when my daughter was new at school. She was being picked on by other kids. He came up to her and encouraged her to not let it bother her. He was sometimes picked on too.

Turned out he lived in the neighborhood behind ours. These two were separated by woods, but bonded by being teased at school. They both loved trampling in the woods, so they would often meet there. He loved old glass bottles. She would help him dig them up along the greenway.

In fifth grade they had to do a project to tell the class a little about themselves. He wrote that he would wear yellow and red every day if he could, because those were his favorite colors. She encouraged him not to say that, because yellow was not a boy color, so he would be picked on. He said it anyway. He was teased.

She felt his parents said orange and blue, because of his favorite sports team, not because they were really his favorite colors. Being his friend she wanted to truly honor him for who he really was, not who he became in order to avoid the pain of teasing. Yet, she did not want to be disrespectful of her principal. She finally settled on a red shirt with Steven written in alternating orange and blue letters down her arm.

Her efforts to get it right for Steven left her more uncentered than usual. Before we went out the door I asked her to sit and pray with me. We took a few deep breaths to get in tune and ready to join with God. I felt we needed a powerful prayer, so I began with the most powerful prayer I know…The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Yours is the kingdom
And the power
And the glory forever
Amen

How perfect was that? This was my “aha” moment. The physical pain released my body as I realized that was exactly it.

God’s kingdom came to call for Steven. His will was done. It was not His will for me to save Steven, or change any of the circumstances so that someone else could save Steven. It was His will for me to be the conduit of His spiritual presence on earth as a precious soul was called home to Heaven.

When Jesus spoke of daily bread, He meant that our Heavenly Father would give us what we need always. The strong pull for me to look away when I did was God giving me what I needed in the moment to fulfill His will and sparing me from temptation. Had I seen the horrific moment that Steven was hit, the shock of it may have interfered with his ability to use my body as the conduit. I was able to stay in His presence while others needed a calmness. My ability to say I did not see him in the street may have allowed others to respond without judgment against this distraught woman who would have given anything to take it all back.

Now it is time to allow forgiveness, so that we can celebrate God’s awesome power to bring a young soul home to His kingdom allowing Steven to experience the amazing glory of a spiritual life, a life where he will experience such comfort and peace, a life in which he can wear red and yellow every day without fear of being teased.

Steven Canipe

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Lora Leathco

Blogger at SentientObserver.com; Mad Crocheter for Studio KLS; Nonstop talker about TV, Books, Sports, and Hot Topics

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