morning, my oldest daughter, Meagan, made headlines
in Great Falls. As per her pre-dawn, school day
routine, all seven children were buckled into their
Excursion, so Meagan could deliver the four oldest
to school before swapping vehicles with their nanny
who hauls the youngest three back to the house.
After work, the trek is reversed with minor tweaking
depending on after-school activities. It is a
pattern perfected by repetition, but Thursday it
suffered catastrophic failure.
I was finishing breakfast, when I heard a radio
broadcast warning listeners about a dangerous
freezing rain event in Great Falls. While loading
the dishwasher, I received a text from my
son-in-law, Tim, which read “Meagan just rolled the
Excursion, all okay so far...” My life instantly
froze waiting for details and here is the story.
It was a rainy 40 degrees, and Tim headed to work a
minute ahead of Meagan. Rain is always welcome in
Montana, but this morning it was instantly freezing
when it hit the 20 degree pavement of the lowlands.
Tim hit the black ice, slid around and pulled off
the road to see if something was amiss with the
steering on his old pickup. Nearly falling, he
grabbed his phone to warn Meagan, but inertia had
already sucked her into the vortex. She was driving
slowly when her rig swapped ends, but the downhill
slope and the frictionless ice meant her family
hauler was picking up speed every second. As they
left the pavement, Meagan hollered, “Lord protect
us,” and He did. The Excursion slid sideways, hit
the deeper snow of the shoulder and rolled into the
ditch before striking the far bank thereby crushing
the driver’s side roof. Clara, the oldest, was
riding shotgun and was the first out of the rig.
Being a survivalist, had she had her pocketknife she
would have built a shelter, started a fire and been
roasting a couple rabbits while simultaneously
removing her six siblings and mother from the wreck.
School rules prohibit pocketknives, so she waited
for her Dad who was coming back up the road as fast
as the ice allowed.
First to the scene were Tad and Danielle, new
neighbors of Meagan and Tim’s. Tad is a Great Falls
police officer and EMT who coincidentally had his
jump pack in his car that morning. While hurrying to
help, he too slipped on the ice before making it to
the Excursion and placing a c-collar around Meagan’s
neck. Mike, another neighbor, arrived about the same
time as Tim, and everyone began assessing and
extracting the six remaining mini-Kimmels before
shuffling them into warm idling vehicles.
Over the next four hours, Tad, Danielle and Mike
hauled my grandkids back to the Kimmel house and
solicited the aid of Mike’s wife, Kim, to watch the
little ones while Tim followed the ambulance to the
hospital. Truly giving of herself, Kim folded
laundry and straightened up the house before baking
brownies so as to occupy the little ones. Meanwhile,
the ER was quickly overwhelmed with auto-crash
victims as well as slip-and-faller pedestrians and
by the grace of God, Meagan was only bruised. She
was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon
and returned home a couple hours before the trophy
wife and I pulled into their driveway.
Tad, Danielle and Mike all stopped after work to
check on the Kimmels. Kelli, a neighbor with whom
their only contact had been the customary Montana
nod while passing on the highway, pulled into their
driveway bringing two trays of chicken enchiladas
plus chocolate-chip cookies. This was the first day
of a flood of support from neighbors and friends and
Meagan wept at everyone’s kindness. This brings me
to my point.
America truly is a Christian nation where loving
ones neighbor as yourself is the norm rather than
the exception. Even places like Ferguson and New
York City are filled with Christians yearning to
help their fellow man. It is only when influenced by
the evil one, the ugliness of covetousness gains a
foothold. Beware the antichrists fanning the flames
of racial hatred so as to empower themselves. Their
rewards may be great on earth, but there will be
hell to pay in eternity.