On Saturday, I took the apprentices to the Ohio Writers Conference in Columbus as my entourage. I taught on The Three Publishing Paths at the conference.

We had a great day. Learned some stuff. Met some cool people. Had a fun time on the car ride.

I brought them back to the schoolhouse where we had met that morning. As Noah hopped on his scooter and pulled away from the curb, the unthinkable happened. A car crashed into the back of him, sending him flying from the motorcycle and rolling head over heels through the street.

The car drug Noah’s scooter underneath it for another hundred feet before coming to a stop, while Noah’s body finally stopped tumbling on the sidewalk in front of the Catholic church down the street.

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I dialed 9-1-1, handed the phone to Vella to talk to the police, and ran to Noah. We told him to lie still and checked him for any immediate aid to render. With no gushing blood and his breathing normal, we prayed and kept him calm and still while we waited for the paramedics to arrive.

Eventually, the ambulance took him to the hospital, and I followed with the other apprentices.

By the grace of God, Noah suffered no serious injuries. Just a few stitches in his knee and a lot of road rash.

Throughout the ordeal, I just kept telling the apprentices, “There’ll be a time to feel all of the emotions, our job right now is to stay calm and do the next smart thing.”

We sat in the ER waiting room, waiting for an update on Noah’s condition as the adrenaline of the situation subsided. We started chatting in that way you do at a funeral or in a hospital, where nobody’s really sure how you’re supposed to feel.

Alli asked me, “Why aren’t you freaking out?”

“Not freaking out is my superpower,” I told her with a smile.

“When’s the class on that?” she joked.

“Right now,” I said. I thought for a moment and then laughed. “This is the class, but only offered select years.”

In certain circles there’s this Christianese phrase that I find kind of tacky. “Do life together,” as in,
“we’re just doing life together.”

That’s really what we do here. We do life together.

There are certain things that we can teach in a classroom, but that’s only a fraction of the value of an apprenticeship like this one. You also get to walk out your life under the guidance of someone with more wisdom—someone who reminds you to invite the Holy Spirit.

That’s true when we go to a conference together, it’s true when you sort out publishing opportunities, it’s true when you try to manage your personal life to reinforce your calling. It’s also true when your friend gets hit by a car.

It was scary there for a moment. We’re so thankful to God that Noah isn’t dead, handicapped, or incapacitated. Praise Jesus. But it was scary.

Noah’s scooter is really messed up. Normally Noah makes pizzas five nights a week in order to pay his bills here, but he’s missing several days of work. And he’ll be receiving some medical bills in the mail soon. (If you want to help him with that, you can do so here: noahjmatthews.com/give That money goes directly to Noah, we don’t manage it, touch it, or even know about it if you give.)

Even though it was a gutting experience, I was so proud of the way the apprentices represented Jesus and brought the Kingdom of God into that situation.

As the paramedics stabilized Noah, we took the opportunity to go pray for the driver that had hit him. The driver was also young and absolutely devastated. His eyes were red from crying and he was shaking. None of us yet knew if Noah was seriously injured, and I’m certain this young man could see his whole life changing in that moment.

By the world’s standards, I had every right to be mad, but by the power of God, we went and prayed for him. With his permission, we prayed and invited the Prince of Peace into the situation. I don’t know if he’s a believer or not, but he received the peace.

I later learned that before I had prayed for him, one of the neighbors had come and cursed him out for driving too fast.

And is that not two kingdoms at war? One kingdom that curses, and another that blesses.

One kingdom that takes rights that don’t belong to it and brings fear and bondage. Another kingdom that lays down our rights and brings peace.

And that’s only by the Holy Spirit at work. I’m not good. I’m not calm. I’m not peaceful. But Christ washes away who I was and makes me into something new. Little by little, Jesus makes me more like Him, and in those stressful moments we get to see the work that’s been done.

It’s still a crummy situation. Noah’s scooter is trashed and he’s hurting. It looks like he’s going to have a big financial burden in front of him. He’s already stretching his faith and trusting God to provide for his apprenticeship here, and this will make it much harder.

But we know that God is faithful. There is no question that God intervened that night and prevented something that could have been tragic. Noah has important stuff to do—no car is going to overcome God’s plans for his life.

Join us in thanking God. Joining us in thanking God in advance for Noah’s healing and provision.

Praise God for the better Kingdom. Praise God for light that overcomes the darkness.

P.S. Help Noah out here. Or you can contribute towards his tuition here.

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