It took three times in a row for me to hear, “It’s okay, Cheryl, I’m in control,” for it to stick. A freak explosion of fire in the heavy equipment I was operating, distracted me. Clothes on fire, I escaped from an open window in the cab.

I have no recollection of jumping and crashing onto the ground before finding myself in the emergency room, going in and out of the consciousness that God is my life. X-rays were taken. The doctor went to find a surgeon to fix my bleeding liver, “because they can be fatal,” he said.

The surgeon arrived and sat watching the monitors I was hooked to. “You’re stabilizing,” he said contemplatively. The liver surgery wasn’t performed, it wasn’t necessary, and that was twenty-years ago.

But something else happened during the three days I was in the hospital. Gratitude escaped my cliché definition of looking on the bright side. Gratitude welled, permeated, and saturated my being as power and presence. Gratitude so profound, like none other I’ve known before or since, yet blesses me every day.

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