Saturday, June 5, 2010



I slammed my locker, opened it again and snatched Algebra One. Tim looked at the book, and then at me as if I were crazy. “I almost forgot. This book is important” I said.

All smiles and full throttle down the hall, “I’ll pick you up” I yelled as I shot out the door. My best friend stood by his locker scratching his head and staring at his Algebra One.

The thought that ran through my mind as I ran down the sidewalk: “Sean did it, he really did it…I’m glad he did, but I can’t believe he had the nerve, and I can’t believe they fell for it...”

Sean said he was going to call and say… “I’m a concerned parent and due to the impending inclement weather I recommend you dismiss classes. If you don’t, I’m going get my children anyway.” CLICK.

Within the hour school was dismissed.

“…the school board must be skittish due to the brutal blizzard last week – for crying out loud the sun is shining! But, so what, we’re out of school and my snowmobile’s waiting.”

I slid to a stop at the top of the hill. Now, the reason Algebra One was so important – the biggest hard back offered in the ninth grade. Laying it on the ground bindings facing down hill, I stepped on and Algebra One became a lesson in Algebra, Physics and Phy Ed, all rolled into one: (mass + gravity – friction = book-bobsledding at it's best) I loved that book.

A record breaking slide to the bottom of the hill and within minutes I was straddling a snow colored Yamaha 400; full throttle roaring to pick up my friend. After woofing down peanut butter sandwiches we were off to winter wonderland.

Wilson’s road on the edge of town was perfect for speed, at least on a snowmobile. The snow packed gravel road lined with trees and farm fields offered a straight shot for two miles with hardly ever any car traffic.

I opened her up to see how fast we could go – usually about sixty-five. A white flash on a white canvas were we. Everything was white, the road, the fields, the sled; everything, except the trees. And they were becoming a blur as we zipped by faster and faster.

I remember seeing what I thought was a drift.

In an instant everything went from white to black.

No more roar of the snowmobile. Just silence. No more white; just black… then, milky black.

Then, singing.


No – birds.

I’m on my back looking at a fading blue sky. No pain. No realization of why I’m there or who I am. Tim doesn’t look so good. His face is bigger than it used to be.

We walk.

Mrs. Wilson saw two boys walking circles in her front yard. She opened the door; I walked in without a word and lay on her couch. Tim followed me; she followed Tim.

“What happened?” She asked.

No answer.

“What are your names?”

No answer.

“What’s your phone number?”

Tim finally spoke. “I know a number; don’t know whose it is.”

The phone rang, his mother answered. Soon we were in the hospital… Broken.

“Have you eaten anything?”

“Oh probably, I’m always eatin’ somethin’” I answered the Doc.

“You have a broken clavicle” He said.


“Your collar bone, shoulder bone is broken. Are you in pain?”

“No, well my head kinda hurts.”

The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital bed. My head ache was gone and my memory had returned; except the part about breaking my collar bone. However, when I grabbed the bed rails to pull myself up an explosion of pain ripped through my right shoulder and helped me remember – and never forget.

Tim didn’t break any bones but in a way he was worse off than me. He lay in the bed next to mine and kept asking the same questions over and over. His concussion was severe.

“Hey Doug, what are we doing here?”

“Well, school was let out early and we had a snowmobile accident. I broke my collar bone and you got a concussion.”

“Really, did we go to school today?”

“Part of it, we had a partial snow day.” (Thanks to our friend Sean and his “concerned parent” phone call)

“Did we go to Algebra? Algebra’s important. I like Algebra.”

“Oh boy, Tim, I need to rest my shoulder hurts.”


“Well, school was let out early and we had a snowmobile accident. I broke my collar bone and you got a concussion.”

“Oh man, why didn’t you tell me? I’m sorry.”

“That’s OK.”

A moment of silence and then it would start again…

“Hey Doug, what are we doing here?”

On and on, round and round until finally…

“Hey Doug, what are we doing here?”

“I broke my collar bone and you broke your face.”

“Oh… we’re broken?”

“Yep… But Doc says when a bone heals it’s actually stronger than it was before.”

We healed. The healing was painful. But we healed just like Doc said: stronger in the broken place.

And not just my shoulder either.

I’ve come face to face with pain much deeper than broken bones – a broken heart, a wounded soul.

Maybe you know what I mean.

Through it all I’ve learned:

   1) The moment I get hurt is the moment I can start to heal.

   2) Healing is painful but necessary

   3) Once healed I’ll be stronger in the broken place than before

   4) Most importantly I’ve learned to listen to The Doc.

The Doc I speak of is the healer of healers, The Great Physician. I’ve learned that no pain is too deep that He won’t heal; no break too severe that he won’t mend.

The key is up to me. Will I go to Him? Will I listen?

You can heal. You can be stronger than ever in the broken place.

Have you been broken?

Are you in need of healing?

Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenheartedAnd binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for the visit. I’m praying for you,


Some lyrics from Broken (from the movie Broken Bridges w/Toby Keith)
I found strength in the struggle. Face to face with my trouble…
Hittin’ walls and getting’ scars

only makes you who you are...only makes you who you are…

No matter how much your heart is aching,

there is beauty in the breaking…


Denise said...

Praise God , He is my ultimate healer. One touch from Him is all it takes. Thanks for being you, you are truly a man after God's heart. Be blessed.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Great story-telling, Doug. I'm so, so, so glad you came out of that OK. What an ordeal. And thank you for the lesson within: That when we break, we're made stronger in the end....

God bless you, brother.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

Wonderful story. I do enjoy this blog.

Stronger you say? I'll keep that in mind.

My thought is that since we're vessels of clay, we need to be broken if the Light within us is to shine for His glory.

Doug Spurling said...

Denise, Thank you so much for being you - a constant encourager. Yes - one touch from The Ultimate Healer is all it takes - may you experience His healing in every way.

Jennifer - So good to hear from you - thanks! I've prayed for you, your favorite farmer and your family - for saftety in sowing your fields, favor with the weather and equipment and a bountiful harvest on the way.

Anne, Amen. Jars of clay are we. Broken and on our knees are the times we stand strongest. In my weakness His strength is made perfect.

Thanks for the visit - I pray for you.

Kayla Spurling said...

Dad, This is amazing. You are amazing. I remember along time ago when you told me this story. I never really got the point why you ever told me any stories of yours. But as i read your blog entries, i know now. It was to teach me who our real healer is Jesus Christ. And to teach me through lessons you have already learned so i wouldnt have to keep learning the hard way in life. Thank you dad for everything. You are truly a great man of God. Glad i am your daughter!! Glad i can call you my Dad!! Even though times may still get tough and i may still mess up once in a while. I am not who i used to be. Because I know now who my Lord and Savior is. I love you So much more then you will ever know Dad.
Love Me! :)