Many summers ago (14, I think??), a dear friend of mine was in a terrible car accident. A semi truck lost brakes coming down a hill, plowed into hers and many other cars. She sank into a coma and remained forever changed even after waking up. She was never able to walk or talk again, and she passed away several years later, long before "her time."
As a teenager, this was the single most tragic event I'd experienced. It was awful...and yet there was good in it. I truly believe the Lord used it in my life to do many things, to keep me from living superficially, to teach me how to pray and mean it, to value my friendships, and so much more. I even think Katherine's accident was crucial in leading me down the education/career path I went down. As a 14 year old, I learned that people with disabilities are people too (because my friend became the first one I really knew). I learned that even when someone can't speak back, that person is worth speaking to and wants to be included. I spent many an afternoon in junior high and high schoo. at Katherine's house with other friends, keeping her up to speed on all our teenage gossip.
This past week, my cousin was in a horrific motorcyle accident. An SUV hit him and drove off. So now there's another tragic story, a life terribly altered at an early age, another group of people whom I love dearly, gathered around a hospital bed. This one's in Colorado, and I'm not there. And I desperately hope this story ends differently than Katherine's. But I am reminded that the God who worked miracles in Katherine's life, even if not the precise miracles we would have hoped for, this God has not changed. And this God is up to something good, because that's what He does.