The Fall

No one likes a fall. I’m not talking about ‘fall’ as in the season (love that kind of fall). I’m talking about the ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ kind of fall. Which is about what happened to me this past Sunday morning (in more ways than one).

It was another busy weekend on the road (can you say ‘thank you, God’?), but things weren’t going all that swimmingly. On the way down to Oxford, AL Saturday morning for an event that night, I started feeling a bit under the weather. By the time I arrived at the venue for set up and sound-check, I was in full-fledged ‘virus’ mode. Yep… the ‘Full Monte(zuma)’. Thankfully our host and the band guys were very patient, and the event schedule was very kind to me. I got through the gig and made it to Birmingham that evening, as I was scheduled to play at Hunter Street BC in Hoover, AL the next morning.

By the time 6am rolled around, I was still a bit shaky but on the upswing. Whenever I play, I typically like to stand, especially in a worship setting. But that day I was just too dang tired, so I played from a folding stool. Two out of three services… no problem.

Can you see it coming? Of course you can! We had no more started the opening bit of music for the last service that it happened. There I was… sitting there, minding my own business… listening to the beautiful strains of “Shout to the Lord”… waiting for the measure to come where I strum this gorgeous A2 chord, replete with shimmering chorus and my trademark delay sounds. Suddenly as if the New Madrid fault line had a seizure, I found myself involved in literally the longest fall I’ve ever experienced in my life. Oh… I’m sure it only lasted seconds… but in that moment, I’m certain that Einstein’s theory of time dilatation came into play and that my tumble was exponentially longer.

Somehow I started to fall backwards… yes, backwards and off the 18″ high riser, all the while holding my prized ’82 Strat. It would only be poetic justice (or poetic license) if the lyric at that moment was the ‘mountains bow down’ line in the song being played. But who knew… all I knew is that I was falling!

Finally I fell to earth. In best Olympic tradition, I immediately jumped to my feet. You know when the gymnast misses the final ‘stick’ but jumps up and acts as if nothing had happened? Yep… I tossed my stool back onto the riser, made sure that me and my guitar were all in one piece and plunged right back in (ok, I did re-tune first… lol). Fortunately there was no long-term damage, other than my ego. I have been told that part of this wonderful event was captured on video… oh, great!

But then it gets serious. I was on the way back to Nashville when I received a phone call from Carol. Our son Justin had been in a car wreck in Huntsville. Apparently he was on the way home and was literally a few hundred yards from his house when a car came out of the blue and hit his vehicle on the passenger side. He was in an ambulance on the way to the ER when he made the call to my wife. We planned on meeting at the hospital as soon as possible.

Thank God for grace and mercy! Other than a few minor cuts and some bumps and bruises, Justin was fine (his car, alas, was not so good). We spent the rest of the day getting him back to his house and settled.

On the drive back later that night, I couldn’t help but think about all the events of the weekend. If you believe in luck, then you’d have to wonder why me and the family were patently unlucky. But I don’t think that way. I don’t even think it was the enemy or an ‘act of God’. The Bible is clear that we live in a fallen world. When we fell in the garden, we pretty much told God what He could go do with himself. And ever since then we’ve been living in a world full of random chaos. Sometimes, stuff just happens!

But even in the middle of ‘stuff’, God never stopped caring or protecting. In every event of the past weekend, God’s grace and mercy were evident. From getting through the event on Saturday, my Humpty Dumpty impersonation on Sunday, and to Justin’s near brush with disaster… God protected us from far more serious consequences. And if feeling some sore muscles or replacing a vehicle is the price to pay, those pale in comparison to what could’ve been the end result.

No one likes a fall. Least of all God… when we fell, imagine his grief. But continue to imagine his love and mercy… so much so that Christ came and lived and died for me and for you and everyone who needs that mercy and grace.

Guess you could say that God ‘took the fall’ for us.

In His Mercy,