The courtroom drama is set. A young mother and her toddler were hit head-on at an intersection in Chattanooga, Tennessee by an eighty-four year old man. At the stop light they faced each other from opposing sides and again in court two years after the accident.
The woman was driving straight on Bonny Oakes and stopped at the red light. She was headed to her small group at church around 6 p.m. The old man wanted to turn left off that road indicated by his car signal. When the light turned green, he refused to allow the woman to drive straight through the intersection although she had the right of way.
Instead, he pulled out in front of her. She slammed on her brakes so he could pass and turn left but he didn’t. In the middle of the intersection he changed direction and drove straight into the woman’s blue Honda. The man’s car wasn’t ruined, nor was he, and the cops found his walker in the back seat.
Out of nowhere a big man wearing army fatigues opened the passenger door and pulled the woman’s daughter out of her car seat. Back then children were allowed to ride in the front. He then gave her a popsicle and in a flash he was gone. Because the woman wasn’t tall, the airbag hit her at neck level when it deployed resulting in doctor visits, medical treatment, and therapy.
The old man’s insurance carrier refused to pay for the young woman’s medical bills so she filed suit against his insurance company, not to be greedy but for reimbursement. I watched her endure neck pain for months and months while faithfully receiving physical therapy.
That woman is my wife and that little girl is now my oldest daughter. I remember the night of the accident well. I was already at church teaching teenagers, but Gina never showed up after my lesson ended like she always did with Kayla in tow.
We didn’t own cell phones then so I drove to our house to find out where she was. I pulled into our gravel driveway and when I got out of my truck, my in-laws pulled in behind me. Gina and Kayla got out of their backseat and ran to me crying.
“My car is totaled!”
Are you okay? I asked.
I hugged her and Kayla hard and her parents drove us to the emergency room. While we waited, Gina told me an angel pulled Kayla out of her car. She had no doubt. Two years later we ended up in a court room and I was asked to take the witness stand, a first for me. Specifically, my wife’s lawyer wanted me to explain how the wreck affected her activities of daily living (ADL’s) regarding the neck injury she suffered.
Before it was my turn, I watched the prosecuting attorney attack my wife, claiming she went snow skiing the weekend after the accident. My blood boiled. He lied. And he wasn’t getting away with it! The truth is Gina rode with me when I drove teenagers to a ski retreat in North Carolina, but she didn’t ski because of her injury. She went on the trip but didn’t participate.
The judge called my name and I walked to the front and up a few steps to the witness stand. The moment I sat I declared, before being asked to speak, “The lawyer lied. My wife didn’t ski. She rode in a van with the youth. That’s it!” I proceeded to tell more details only to be stopped by the Judge: “SILENCE!” I loved my wife so I spoke up to defend her.
I hope I never have to enter a courtroom again. I did go back a couple of times to show support for teenagers who broke the law or were involved in drinking incidents, but sitting in the witness stand is an entirely different matter, it felt like my soul was naked, on display.
None of us can steer clear of life’s courtroom. It’s composed of around 7.8 billion people and God—the judge. Included in the mix is Satan, the prosecutor and our Advocate—Jesus Christ. The people, that includes you and me, are at a disadvantage. Hence, the need for an Advocate.
John explains our disadvantage in his book I John. “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.” (1:1-2, NLT, emphasis mine)
Dane Ortlund explains why we really need an advocate. “Even our best repenting of our sin is itself plagued with more sin needing more forgiveness. To come to the Father without an advocate is hopeless.”
Ortlund continues, “Our sins feel far more sinful after we become believers than before. And it’s not only our felt perception of our sinfulness; we do indeed continue to sin after becoming believers. Sometimes we sin big sins. And that’s what Christ’s advocacy is for. It’s God way of encouraging us not to throw in the towel.” (Gentle and Lowly)
Satan, Lucifer, the devil, also called the father of lies, is our Prosecutor. As odd as it sounds, some folks don’t really know who is For them and who is Against them, and their life is a flip-flop of a mess. But the scriptures are black and white clear. Romans 8:31b reads: “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (NLT)
Why not be encouraged by the lyrical video of the song “I am Yours” by Need to Breathe.