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Changing Seasons

4. The Accident

 

When 3 o’clock rolled around on Saturday afternoon, Grandpa was ready for the kids. He thought maybe there might be five or six. That would be fine with him. He wasn’t sure that he really wanted to tell the whole world. But he believed that God would bring the right people there.

 

When Larry arrived, he said to Grandpa, “Sounds like an awful lot of the kids want to come. I just kind of said it was going to be a little extra special. Anybody I invited said they wanted to come, and they said they were going to invite a few others. Who knows? You might not even have enough space in this room for all of us. You might have to do it out in your backyard!”

 

Grandpa said, “I can count on you, Larry. Anytime I want to make sure that everybody comes. I’ll just tell you. You always put so much excitement in the invitation that no one can say ‘no’”.

 

When Larry was sure that everyone was present that wanted to listen to Grandpa’s story, he said, “I guess you can start now, Grandpa.“

 

Grandpa said, “It has been a little while since I told you the first part of the story, and there are a few here now who did not hear the first part of the story. So, I’m going to give a little summary before I continue with the story where I left off.

 

Grandpa continued, “This is a continuation of a story that I told in the children’s ministry class on New Year’s Eve. The second part of the story was told the next day in my house. And maybe some of you weren’t there either. So, here’s the summary.“

 

——

 

Albert was a boy about your age. He loved candy. His mom would often give him some money to go down to the candy store on Monday, because he could get twice as much candy for the same price. Albert always liked to do this, so that he could stop by on the way home and give some of the candy to his friend, Alex.

 

Alex couldn’t go with Albert to the candy store because he had been in an accident and couldn’t walk.

 

As the story progressed, we found out that Alex and Albert had been in an accident. There was nothing in the story that indicated what the accident was, however, it turned out that Alex had to do something very heroically to save his friend, Albert, from severe injury. While Alex was helping his friend, Albert, Alex was severely injured. For a while, Alex could not even stand. He had to stay in his bed at home.

 

Close to the end of the story, as I told it before, we found out that Alex was doing much better, and might actually be able to walk soon.

 

Albert was struggling with the fact that his friend, Alex, had given up so much for him. It turned into an opportunity for Albert to trust the Lord for whatever new and difficult situations may come his way.

 

——

 

Then Grandpa said, “I want you all to know that I was not planning to finish this story. Just a few days ago Frank came over to my house and talked to me about it. I explained to him that the rest of the story would be difficult for you, kids, but also for me, personally. Frank agreed not to talk to anybody about our conversation until I had made my decision. I would like to thank Frank for being trustworthy.”

 

Several of the kids said things like, ‘All right, Frank’ and ‘Way to go!’

 

Grandpa said, “Now I’m going to continue with the story.”

 

——

 

The next Saturday, Albert asked his mom and dad if he could go over to see Alex. They said it would be fine.

 

Albert called Alex’s parents on the phone and said, “Hi, this is Albert. I was wondering if it’s all right for me to come over to visit Alex this afternoon.”

 

Alex’s dad said, “Sure, Albert. Can you come over here about 2 o’clock?“

 

Albert responded, “OK. I’ll be over at 2 o’clock. Thanks.”

 

When Albert arrived, Alex was overjoyed. He was so excited because he wanted to let Albert know how he was doing with his physical therapy.

 

Alex said, “Look, Albert, I can walk across the room with a walker now. Watch me.”

 

Albert clapped as Alex walked very slowly across the room with the walker. But then he got very tired and needed a little bit of help getting back to his bed.

 

Albert said, “That is fantastic! I want to let you know that I was very concerned that you might not ever be able to walk again.”

 

Alex said, “I decided I was going to learn to walk again. But we’re never gonna do that crazy stunt that we did when I got hurt.”

 

Albert responded, “I am so glad that you’re doing so well with your walking, Alex. But I also have something I need to tell you this afternoon.”

 

Alex said, “Sure, Albert. What would you like to talk about?”

 

Albert said, “I can still see in my mind as we were going across on those ropes that the teenagers had put up across the ravine. I was the one who talked you into doing it. I am so sorry.”

 

Alex responded, “Maybe it was your idea, but I agreed.“

 

Albert said, “The only reason why I wanted to do it was because I was jealous of the older kids. I thought to myself, ‘we should be able to do that, too!’ What a dumb thought.“

 

Alex said, “But we had watched the older kids do it many, many times, and they never had any problems. We almost made it across ourselves.”

 

Albert was having a hard time getting through this. He was starting to cry, but he held it back.

 

Albert said, “I still don’t know how to thank you for doing what you did. You knew that I was kind of weak because of my condition. You stayed really close to me. You watched to make sure that I was going to make it. It would’ve been so easy for you. You’re just so athletic. And I guess I was wishing I was athletic like you.”

 

Alex could see that this was really hard for Albert, so he said, “It’s OK, Albert. We’ve always been best friends. We always will be. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you, and I’m sure there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for me.”

 

Then, Albert said, “Who would’ve ever guessed that one of the ropes would slip from the connection at the finish side. They looked like they were so secure. But when mine slipped, you were almost at the end. But instead of finishing, you grabbed a hold of me and pulled me over to your line. As I was grabbing your line, you lost your grip and fell into the ravine. It is still hard to say or think about it. You must’ve dropped about 20 feet.”

 

——

 

At this point, several of the kids gasped and put their hands over their face. Grandpa decided to stop.

 

Grandpa said, with some tears in his eyes, “I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to say that part. Maybe I should take a break, for your benefit, and mine.”

 

Frank was the only one who actually could say anything at all. He said, “Yeah, Grandpa, I think we need a break.”

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