This is much shortened version. Go to My Testimony Video page for a full video version of talk given at at Dagenham Community Church.
Having worked as both an Ambulanceman & Policeman in the busy and often violent East End of London the last thing I wanted or thought about was Christianity. Although it was my involvement with suffering that was a major factor preventing me from sharing my wife’s Christian Faith, it was to be suffering which would subsequently bring me to search and find the reality and blessing of having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
On 19th April 1984 my wife was involved in a very serious car accident and was placed on a life support machine. After about a week of failing to respond the doctor asked my permission to turn of the machine. During this week I had witnessed and been impressed by the way my wife’s family had shown great strength and resilience coping with the trauma which now faced usAlthough I didn’t understand it, I guessed it came from their faith in God.
On the day that I was to give an answer to the doctor I was standing on an outside balcony at the hospital having a smoke (now healed of this addiction)waiting for the doctor to attend and switch off the machine. As I looked around me I could see signs of new life in the spring flowers and I began to think about the wonders of creation, including some of the amazing facts I had learnt about the human body whilst training for the London Ambulance Service. I started to consider if perhaps there was a God who had designed such things as delicate & beautiful flowers and the amazing human body, or could it really just be a freak of nature?
In desperation I cried out “God if your up there, come down and show me. My Christian wife is laying there dead, if you save her I’ll even look into this Christianity thing” Isn’t it strange that too often we don’t realise what
something is worth until we are about to lose it! Only a week before the accident we were seeking a divorce and I was so angry with her I felt like killing her myself! Now I’m pleading with an unknown God to save her! Notice I only said to God I would look into Christianity. You see I had the totally wrong idea what being a Christian was really all about. I thought that if I became a Christian I would have to become boring & self righteous, like sadly some are!
That I would have to stop enjoying life, no more parties etc. How wrong I was, I later found out being a Christian adds a new more fulfilling dimension to your life far from boring!
Less than an hour of me making this deal with God, the doctor arrived and as he turned of the machine my wife began to breath again. God not only heard my prayer but he acted! Although she was now breathing she was to remain
unconscious for nearly a month. More about her injuries and healing miracle later as I want to tell you about my part of the deal!
As I had now started to consider the possibility of a God who actually does listen and acts, I decided I had better keep my side of the deal. So as my mother-in-law who was staying with me wanted to go to church on Sunday, I took her to my local church. At the time of the accident my wife had strayed away a bit from God and didn’t attend church very often, and if she did, went not locally but to a church where we lived previously. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised as I entered, things had changed since my childhood when my non Christian parents packed me off to Sunday School (they probably did so to get some peace). The place was packed with ordinary people of all ages and mode of dress, some even wearing jeans! There was a mixture of traditional hymns and modern worship and the people actually looked as if they were enjoying themselves! After the service coffee & cookies were served and people were very nice and friendly towards us. I thought to myself “If this all that is involved spending an hour here on a Sunday, I can cope with this.” However as I went along for a few weeks I started to realise there was a lot more to being a Christian than just going to church! The vicar was preaching that “Going to church, saying prayers, singing hymns and even believing in God doesn’t necessarily make you a Christian.” He pointed out the devil believes in God and the only right a person has to call themselves a Christian is if they have a personal relationship involving love & trust with Jesus Christ. Now by this time Maggie, my wife, was more or less out of danger and her chances of survival were fairly good. Did I a macho policeman,or so I thought, really need to get involved with this Christianity thing with all this personal commitment I was learning about? As for having a love relationship with another man who I couldn’t even see or touch, no way! I very nearly welched on my part of the deal with God. But He then started to reveal himself in a strange way to me, through some things I used to call coincidences about the accident. I now know they were ‘God Incidents’ not coincidences. Although we don’t believe God caused the accident he was there in all the suffering and trauma and turned this evil & reckless act into something that could bring glory and honour to himself as well as bringing me into his kingdom.
I want to briefly share the details of some of these ‘God Incidents’ with you, although space doesn’t permit me to give full details here, a copy of my tape on the accident is available giving much more detail on these and my testimony.
As you consider these ‘coincidences’ I point out that this accident happened not in a small rural village but in a highly populated area of London, this I believe make them even more remarkable!
* After the accident happened the very next car to come around the bend was being driven by an off duty Ambulaceman who managed to sustain life until the arrival of a medical team. His wife who was with him worked with a previous neighbour of mine who gave him my new phone number. He needed to contact me as his wife had recurring nightmares about my wife’s horrendous injuries. These ended once they had visited my wife in hospital and saw for themselves the miracle that was taking place.
* The cousin of this Ambulanceman was the road sweeper called to clear up the debris at the scene of the accident and he had his camera with him and later supplied photos taken at the scene. Some of these are featured on this web site.
* Within minutes of the accident happening two young off duty policeman arrived on the scene and rendered assistance. One of whom knew Maggie as I was his parent constable, although he didn’t recognise her at first because of her facial injuries. Unknown to me at the time he was a Christian and prayed for Maggie.
* My mother-in-law’s dentist was the daughter of the consultant who was flown in from Scotland to advise on my wife’s treatment. My mother-in-law lives over 70 miles from the scene of the accident and hospital.
* The fireman who cut Maggie from her car was the brother of an ex colleague of mine from my time with the London Ambulance Service.
* A nurse caring for Maggie was my cousin’s future sister-in -law.
* The doctor in charge of the Intensive Care Unit was a personal friend of a friend of mine.
* Two years later whilst involved in a police situation, I met the doctor who was called to the scene. He was amazed at my wife’s recovery. It transpired that he was the only Christian doctor from a team of 12 who could have been called out. On the night in question he was at a church service when his bleeper summoned him to the accident. Even God can use modern technology! He too can testify to this miracle.
I was told my wife would need years of plastic surgery & skin grafts. She didn’t need any! I was told she would never use her right arm again. She did, the elbow re-grew!
DO LOOK AT THE PHOTOS BELOW TO WITNESS THE MIRACLE THAT TOOK PLACE
MAGGIE NOW AFTER NO PLASTIC SURGERY!