With all of the posts recently on Bishop O’Brien and the hit and run it has got me thinking about something that happened to me. I will not spill any internet ink on the case of Bishop O’Brien but will keep in my intentions the family of the man killed.
While serving on the U.S.S. Eisenhower (CVN-69) I use to ride my bike to and from work since it was only about five miles to the carrier pier. One morning I was riding to work when as I was coming to the end of a block I saw a car coming directly towards me from the right. The man in the car was speeding to get on the main road before traffic appeared and did not notice me. I calculated that there was no way that I could avoid getting hit and could take not action. In those seconds my whole life did not come before my eyes but only the sure thought that I was going to be killed.
The car hit me dead on and I went up onto the hood and then I guess knocked into the street. My first reaction was surprise, surprise that I was alive. Many people stopped and a crowd came to my assistance and to determine my condition. The driver that hit me pulled into the parking lot initially, but while people were paying attention to me he took off. A female Chief and a couple of other people put me in her car to drive me to the Navy clinic which was only about a mile away. I escaped any serious injury and ended up only with deep bruises and a bunch of cuts requiring stitches.
I count that day as a turning point in my life. Already some of the intellectual reasons for believing in God had come to my mind through various sources. This incident put things into perspective for me. Whether there was or wasn’t a God became a serious question and not just an idle intellectual exercise. This also happened at the point in my life where I was doing everything I could to buttress my atheism intellectually. I was reading books on atheism and was delving into the writings of Ayn Rand. After the accident I realized that I had not been trying so much as to intellectualize my atheism but to revive my atheistic faith which I had already lost. It still took me another four years to find my way into the Catholic Church. I have never held any animosity towards this hit and run driver who was never caught and I can almost count myself thankful to him. God can bring good out of an evil act and even though I was metaphorically thrown down a well by my brothers I now say with Joseph “…you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”