ECEMBER 13 WAS A beautiful Wednesday afternoon.
I had just arrived in West Texas for five days of whitetail hunting
and was eager to get started after a long ten-hour drive. I climbed
into my blind and watched the glorious sunset. One hour later the
nightmare began. In the distance I heard the landowners pickup
coming over the horizon
was he coming for me? As he drew near,
I knew something was wrong. “Hey Doc” he called, “come
quick, your family has been in a accident.” My heart sank
into my stomach. Forty agonizing minutes went by before I was able
to talk to someone back home. My wife and children had been in a
hideous car wreck. They were alive. My wife had a broken leg and
was to have surgery. Our three-year-old son had a head injury and
was stable. Our four-year-old daughter had only minor injuries.
drive home was long. I prayed the rosary continuously the full ten-hour
trip home and somewhere along the way, the blessed mother’s intercessions
brought me Christ’s peace.
Many miracles happened that day. My family survived,
nobody else in the wreck was injured, and the list goes on. Now
six months later, my wife and son are recovering better and faster
than any of the doctors thought possible.
The unexpected miracle, however, came in the form
of personal growth. That night as I watched my family lay in their
hospital beds, I mentally lay prostrate at the feet of Jesus and
prayed. I humbly begged that if it were possible, He would let me
bear the pain and suffering of my loved ones and to take their injuries
away. It was at this moment that the reason for the Passion and
Crucifixion of Jesus became clear to me. It was at that moment that
I realized Christ has been trying to get my attention. It took an
event such as this to get me to listen. It was that night that I
finally left everything behind and answered Jesus’ call to “come
Chris Penning, D.O.
CHRISTUS Bridge City Clinic
Bridge City, Texas