On May 23rd, 2018, Karen Swallow Prior was hit by a bus in a freak accident while visiting Nashville. Through that experience, Karen learned a lot about herself, the Church, and God. In this video, Karen recounts all the things that God taught her through her accident and the days, weeks, and months following.
Dr. Karen Swallow Prior is professor of English at Liberty University, research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She is also the author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life in Great Books.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
A year ago, I was in downtown Nashville, Tennessee and I was walking to a meeting at LifeWay. I stepped into a crosswalk and I didn’t see the bus coming until it hit me. I ended up in Vanderbilt Hospital for 8 days with a fractured shoulder, a fractured spine, a fractured pelvis, fractured ribs, and two collapsed lungs. Obviously I didn’t see that coming.
I’d never experienced any kind of pain or injury like that before in my life. I had never experienced that kind of dependence on so many other people. From the amazing hospital staff to the friends who came immediately to the hospital and dropped everything they were doing over the next few days and stayed with me. To my husband who had to drive halfway across the country and be there with me to my family and friends at home who helped to pick up the pieces as I was recovering.
Because I’d never been so utterly dependent on other people before, this experience really helped me to understand the importance of the body of Christ being the hands and the feet of Christ for other people in their need. The people who were there in the hospital, the people who came to my home to help with housework and to bring meals everyday for weeks, ministered to me and my family in ways that I never would have understood without having gone through this.
Another thing that I realized through this experience is just how much my physical life is truly in the hands of the Lord. I probably could have and should have died that day. I probably could have and should have had much longer-lasting injuries than I did. But I felt so safe and so protected by the Lord. Even if He had chosen to take my life that day, I know it would have been His will and I know that it was His will that I survive and that I am doing as well as I’m doing today.
This is has deepened my desire to want to be always in the center of His will, to know that – not only my life, but my ministry, my words, my relationships – all are in His hands and all must be used to glorify Him, because if He’s not pleased, then what’s the point? I simply want to live to please Him.