The title of Van Morrison’s 1974 album is appropriate for our Sunday morning experience here at St. Matt’s as a van was unable to stop due to a medical event with the driver and made a new drive-thru window in the Nave. We were fortunate that the Stairway to the Choir Loft is composed of I-beams otherwise it would have been a lot worse for the building. It was a hole-y incredible experience for all of us. I suppose the puns are going over like lead zeppelins, so I will get serious.
I am incredibly grateful that the only damage was material. Buildings can be rebuilt, holes can be filled, but people cannot be replaced. It is truly miraculous that no one was seriously injured. The driver only suffered minor injuries and no pedestrians or other vehicles were in the path of the vehicle. Oakland Avenue is a busy street and usually has pedestrians on the walks as well. The accident occurred between services at the best moment something like this could happen. In fact, a minute in either direction and the story would have been much worse as vehicles leaving St. Matt’s would have been in the direct path of the oncoming vehicle for a side impact.
I have walked the path of the vehicle and even here there are small miracles to be seen. I could not have driven this path at full throttle, through two power poles, three yards, and St. Matt’s driveway, stone cold sober and awake, yet the van took a course that avoided houses, huge maples, and a memorial cross. If either of the trees had been hit, it most likely would have been a fatal accident.
After the accident had been cleaned up, we decided to continue to hold the second service in the Parish Hall for we had much for which to be thankful. It was a joyous service of thanksgiving and one we will not soon forget.
In all of this, I believe that God was present. There is no doubt that only a miracle prevented loss of life. You may call it a coincidence, but I will not.