Restoring the Lost Petal

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How a Stranger’s Death Impacted Me (and Why It Should Impact You)

His name was Antonio Zavala-Zavala.

He was so close to home.

And in the blink of an eye he was gone from this Earth……………….

How a stranger's death impacted me and why it should impact you too

Like countless days before, Brad called to say he was on his way home from work. It was a 6:10 pm. Wyatt was especially looking forward to bath time with Daddy (their nightly routine) so after the customary “Be home in a couple minutes, love you,” conversation, Wyatt and I headed to the master bath to run bath water.

Moments ticked by and the water reached the top of the jets in the Jacuzzi tub.  Wyatt was happily splashing away asking every few seconds, “Do you hear Daddy yet?” while I put a basket full of clothing in drawers in our bedroom.

Suddenly, I heard the word “accident”  in my spirit as clearly as I hear Wyatt whisper “Mommy” in the dark of night.

My phone was charging in the kitchen so I briskly walked toward it only to see it lighting up with that picture of my husband so handsome with his goatee and sunglasses.

I’ll be awhile; there’s an accident. I couldn’t get a pulse on the driver……” The rest of the words were a blur as my mind tried to decipher through his tone if he was joking, injured, or involved, and wow, I just heard the Lord speak to me about something so real and so scary.  The conversation was short, about 30 seconds.

Helicopters were in route and there was at least one person dead……

45 minutes later he arrived safely at home and our night went on as usual.  He was not in the accident nor did he witness it, but he was one of the first people on the scene. I didn’t want to ask many questions.  He just tried to get a pulse on a man whose spirit was no longer in his body.  He witnessed death first-hand.


Antonio Zavala-Zavala lost his life that evening. He was less than 200 yards away from his home.

I don’t know him, I probably never crossed paths with him, but that name will stick with me for quite some time.  I don’t know his spiritual condition; sadly I don’t even know his age or if he had family in the U.S. (This is apple country and many migrant workers live here to support their families thousands of miles away.)

The Lord reminded me that this life is precious and fleeting; delicate and temporary.  We’re here for a short time, and these bodies we live in are subject to the forces of nature and man-made marvels that enhance life and often, take it away.

Every moment of our lives, no matter how good or how bad, is a precious gift from God.  Our days are numbered and the beating of our hearts is like a countdown to Glory for those of us who believe in Christ Jesus.  I am saddened by this man’s “untimely” death, but I’m reminded that God knows the circumstances of our conception, our birth, our life and our death.  It maybe be untimely to us, but it was not a surprise to Him.

I hugged Wyatt a little closer that night at bed time, and I snuggled in a bit tighter to my husband.

We can be here today and gone tomorrow.

We should rejoice that God knows the end from the beginning. He’s got our back all along the way and when we put faith and trust in Christ death isn’t an end but a sweet beginning.

If we don’t know Christ, however, then a much more despairing fate is upon us.  Are we ready for that moment when we enter eternity?

Every day in your town, city or county, someone dies.  You may never know them, but God does, and if they aren’t saved by grace, He weeps at their passing. What are we doing to be sure those around us know Jesus?  Most days I’m doing nothing.  I write, I blog, I check twitter.  I do dishes, I yell too much at Wyatt, and I get mad at the dog when she throws up in the house. But I don’t do anything about the eternal destination of others.

 Are you reconciled and redeemed by Christ?

Is the person next to you?

Why don’t you ask?

After all, they may be here today and gone tomorrow…………..

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  1. Cheyenne says:

    Amazing post. Thank you for sharing!!!!


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