“Bu-ring, bu-ring….Bu-ring, bu-ring…”

iPhone displays my son’s name: “Allan Murray”

9.45 pm.

I’m expecting the usual, “Dad, the Bible Study ran a bit late and we’ll be home at 10.15-ish.”



An almost deafening siren. With multiple others in the background.

And heavy breathing. Pants. Gasps.

My wife analyzes my face. I try calm, controlled Dad expression.

More sirens. More grunts and groans.

Seconds slow down and pass slowly by.

“Allan! Allan!! Allan!!!” I give up on control and just resort to being Dad.


Best word I’ve ever heard in my life.

“Dad…we’re both OK.”

Best four words I’ve ever heard.

I repeat them for Shona’s benefit.

“A drunk driver hit us…but we’re both OK.”

Within 30 minutes we meet up in the hospital. Allan’s on a board with a neckbrace and Angus is recovering from a bleeding nose, a pummeled face, and, strangely, two very painful thumbs. A few hours and a few CT scans later, we’re all home and reviewing what happened…again and again. 

The Pontiac Grand Prix

The Collision
Allan, who’s seventeen, was driving my car along Lake Michigan Drive, doing about 45 mph, when a drunk driver (or under the influence of something) in a black Pontiac, coming from the opposite direction, suddenly turned in front of them. There was nothing Allan could do, apart from swerve slightly just before impact. All the air bags deployed. After a few seconds of disorientation and shock, they both stumbled out of the car as fast as they could because they could smell gas and liquid seemed to be everywhere. Allan fell over and was helped by a bunch of motorcyclists who witnessed the accident.

Ambulance, police, and fire-trucks were there within minutes and soon they were on their way to hospital. The emergency workers were fantastic, reassuring the boys that there were multiple witnesses who saw exactly what happened and that the other guy would be charged. That is, if he escaped the fury of the bikers, especially one female biker!

The Ford Escape

The Injuries
Allan has whiplash and chest abrasions. Angus has a sore face and two broken thumbs – he was texting when the airbag went off and pushed his thumbs backwards, with his phone, into his face. He’s now in a thumb cast and a thumb brace. Weird, eh?

The car is totalled, but who cares. They were spared serious injury and even death, and we praise God for His sparing mercies. We also pray that the Lord would bless this to their souls, increasing their spiritual urgency and seriousness. As Angus said, “For a few seconds, I couldn’t breathe, and I did wonder if I was alive or not.”

The Pontiac Grand Prix side view

The Mercies
Strangely, Shona and I had both separately read Psalm 121 that morning. Maybe that was because the day before, Tuesday, our family had been spared another potential tragedy. Last week, Allan bought an economical car to help him with his new business. It was a Ford Escape 2003 and he paid $2900 for it (all he had plus a little help from ourselves). Tuesday afternoon, he was leaving our driveway when the axle broke at the wheel joint. The car collapsed on one side and the wheel completely buckled. Not only were we thankful that Allan was not driving on the highway when it happened, but Shona had been driving it with our four other kids (including the baby) just two hours before. God is MERCIFUL!

That car also is totalled. It cannot be repaired for less than it’s worth. Although I tried to keep focussed on God’s mercy afterwards, I must confess it was still very painful to think that we’d just poured $2900 down the drain (we had got it checked by a mechanic before purchase).

However, today we are rejoicing that God broke the old Escape so that in their collision Allan and Angus were driving the 2010 Escape with all its modern safety standards and equipment. I think I counted at least six airbags that had deployed. As the salvage man said, “The car did its job well.”

$2900 for the lives of my sons? I’ll take that, thanks. A LOT.

On a slightly humorous note, our recently-purchased used tractor mower was also totalled this week! Transmission failure and again not worth repairing. I’m waiting to discover what disaster God is saving us from with that!

Two sobered sons.

  • Sandra Barrett

    So thankful that God spared their lives. God is good.

  • http://writingandliving.net Staci Eastin

    So scary. Glad they’re OK!

  • Shaun

    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

  • http://www.se7en.org.za se7en

    Oh that is shocking… so glad that those boys are doing ok. I am so grateful for God’s hand of protection over you all because you sure seem to find yourselves in the midst of trial… Could I recommend you stay off wheels just for a little while!!! Praying for peace of mind for your family this weekend as you get over the shock and that those injuries heal really quickly.

  • http://twitter.com/jasitek Jason

    Praise God that they are alright and that all are safe! You are a blessed man, Dr. Murray!

  • CherylVT

    Thanking God He spared your sons! He is merciful.

  • http://bibchr.blogspot.com Dan Phillips

    Sharing your gratitude to God for His mercy, brother.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim Shay

    Praise God they are safe!

  • http://six-measures.blogspot.com/ Jules LaPierre

    Thanking God for His protection of your family.

  • http://teampyro.blogspot.com Frank Turk

    Really grateful for God’s mercy on your family today.

  • Tom Chantry

    This is truly wonderful, and praise God.

    If it isn’t wrong to inject a momentary humorous thought: of all the PSAs I’ve seen about texting when driving, I’ve never seen one that warns, “Your thumbs might be driven back into your face and you may wind up in a thumb cast AND a thumb brace.”

    Yes, I realize that was not the driver in this accident, but it would make a pretty good PSA, wouldn’t it?

  • Fernando

    Praise the Lord for His mercy! Ps. 4:8 comes to mind, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (nkjv)

  • Lynn Arthur

    “In the blessed hollow of his hand!
    In the blessed hollow of his hand!
    I am safe while God himself doth hold me
    In the blessed hollow of his hand!”
    E. S. Lorenz

  • http://www.counselingoneanother.com Paul Tautges

    I too am so thankful for the Lord’s mercies, which are new every morning,upon your family. He is to be praised!

  • Claudia Doran

    So thankful to God for His protection of your sons. We know well your experience and have clung to Psalms 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
    How I pray we/you will continue to live in light of this.

  • Madison

    So thankful, praise God they are safe! Continuing to pray for health/full recovery!

  • Cameron

    David, wow. Thankful that God protected your sons.

  • Christina

    Praise God that both of your sons are safe and His perfect plan is unfolding just the way He wants it to. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of the gratitude I want to strive to have in the midst of accidents/trials.

  • Les

    Praise God they are safe!

    I also pray for the driver of the other vehicle that he would repent. May God have mercy on him.

  • bchallies

    Oh David! What a few days you have had! I thank God you are all well.

  • Donald and Joan Mackay

    Praise GOD all are safe. Love to all Donald and Joan

  • Steven Birn

    Need a good attorney? Actually, in Michigan I don’t think your kids have a case as their injuries don’t meet the necessary threshold. That’s something to be thankful for, there are a lot of kids who aren’t so blessed.

  • MarieP

    Rejoicing with you and your family! Praying for a speedy recovery!

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  • http://thelightheartedcalvinist.com Jeff Peterson

    200 miles north of you, we received The Call the morning of May 29, 2002. Our son didn’t come home, dying at age 19. God was sovereign, kind and merciful on that day, however, and continues to be so today.

    Give him an extra hug, even if he doesn’t want it.

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Jeff, I have them both a big hug just after reading this. I praise God who has enabled you to give this beautiful testimony in the midst of such incalculable loss.

  • Mai Aseniero

    Professor Murray, we are thanking the good Lord for sparing both your sons, Shona and the baby from a would have been a tragic accident. My Mum, sister and I are richly blessed listening to your Sermons at SermonAudoi. It is a holy addiction, if I am allowed to say so. Prayers for you all the way from Cebu City, Philippines.

  • http://www.thebiblechristian.com Len Ciciarelli

    “God is MERCIFUL!”

    He is indeed!

  • http://exultingchristian.blogspot.ca/ Janet

    I have to admit that I laughed when I read the cause of Angus’ sore thumbs. That said, I also shed tears of joy, praising God with you that He spared your sons. Please make sure they go to physiotherapy sooner rather than later. I did not get physiotherapy after my accident in 2007, and I am still suffering the consequences.


  • Kerry Prochaska

    The Lord and His amazing blessings leave me open mouthed all the time with amazement. Praise the Lord for inspiring the auto industry to use air bags! I well understand the financial set backs that come into our, believer’s, lives that seem hard at the moment of happening but turn into blessings of dependency on the Lord and His grace.

  • Bill

    Praise the Lord for sparing these boys. It will be fun to see how God uses this and them for His glory in the future.

    My son was also hit by a drunk driver and his car behaved similarly — all air bags deployed, etc. However, it was his time and the Lord took him home that very night — he was driving to a downtown area to evangelize the lost when he was hit. I know God is also using my son’s story for His glory.

    I praise God that these boys survived and may they use this experience to propel them to seek further what God has in store for them. Blessings!

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Bill, I am so, so sorry for your great loss. I mourn with you as you rejoice with me. Yes, may God use this and all such providences to draw lost sinners to Himself.

  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Thanks, friends, for all your prayers and good wishes. The boys are recovering well. Angus will see a hand surgeon on Tues. The rest is just bruising and flashbacks. It sort of caught up with me the last 24 hours, especially having read Bill’s and Jeff’s agonizing stories.

  • Bob

    Your phone actually “rings”? Seriously, thanks for sharing.

  • Johanna Maartense

    When we read the news of our son on facebook we were in total denial! This could not be Michael, but after five months we still sit by his bed praying that God will perform a miracle! So happy to hear that your sons are doing well, God is a mercihul God and is right in all that he does. He trials given become soul seeking, God seeking, Savior comforting, knee bending, and “Thy will be done” God is in charge of all of our lives! And what a blessing to know this Savior who comforts His people through trails and grief!

  • zKatherine

    Thank God both boys are ok and that disaster has been diverted twice recently! I pray this will be a wake-up call to the drunk driver as well too. This story especially terrifies me as I’m set to take my son to the Secretary of State office to get his Temporary Learner’s Permit on Monday. Our children are in God’s hands.

  • G Storm

    Handsome boys. Praise Jesus they are OK.

    Caused me (thru tears … they come easily) to ask my wife to hold my children and tell them how much I love them. They’re on extended vacation while Dad works.

    Thanks for causing me to once again express my deep love for my children.

    Love (!) your ministry.


    /s/ GS

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  • LauraC

    My husband picked up a call like that one evening. I could tell from his end of the conversation that our daughter (18 then) and a friend had just been in an accident (friend driving, and caused it) and that she was ok. My husband ends call “Okay,” and hangs up. He tells me what happened and says that the friends parents are on their way to them (it was only a few miles from our house.) I was appalled that he just takes the information and ends with “Okay.” !!! I screech that we are going there and think, “Are you out of your mind?!?”–OKAY? (!!!) We get to the accident and there are several fire departments, police, and ambulances. It is after dark and it appears that there are a hundred flashing lights. The friend driving was ok, my daughter ended up with a dislocated finger (she was using an ipod when the accident happened, reminds me of your son texting) and a near severe asthma attack from the powder associated with the airbags. The passenger in the other car was hurt slightly. The car that my daughter was in was brand new with multiple airbags. It was totalled and the insurance adjuster said it was a miracle that neither of them was badly hurt. I credit God and those airbags.