From tragedy comes miracles

Published 1:52 pm Saturday, April 7, 2012

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since the tragic accident that rocked our community when, on April 7, 2011, the lives of four families were forever altered when an explosion on a logging site left three young men seriously injured and ultimately claimed the life of another.

The event was horrific to the extent that words don’t do it justice, and what those involved have endured in the weeks and months that have followed defy description. I have personally struggled at times, as many of us often do, to understand how such a thing could transpire — and more specifically how those involved have found the will and the strength to endure.

But what I have come to realize over the last year, and I suspect many others have as well, is that theirs is not just a story about tragedy; Lon, Jeremy and Trent’s story is also one about miracles.

It was a miracle that the first responders to the accident scene were able to get to the victims so quickly. It was a miracle that they were immediately transported to the burn unit at the VCU Medical Center, one of the few places on earth that could provide the type of immediate and sustained care that could save their lives. It is a miracle they were surrounded by caregivers and physicians who refused to give up during the darkest hours. It is a miracle that they have families who have refused to leave their side, displaying a courage of their own that is impossible to comprehend. It is a miracle that they have had an entire community that has prayed for their recovery every day for an entire year. And it is a miracle that God himself chose to test three of the few humans on earth with the heart, will and desire required to survive such an ordeal.

Yes, a year later, this is a story about miracles. Which makes it all the more appropriate that the one-year anniversary of this accident falls on the weekend we celebrate Easter.

As a Christian, I believe that Easter itself is a celebration of miracles. I believe that it is a celebration of the miracle of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. I believe it is a celebration of the miracle that, although man alone is unable to overcome his own sinful nature, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son in order to save us from ourselves. And I believe that Easter is a celebration of the miracle that, through faith and the grace of God, love ultimately overcomes death.

Easter is indeed a celebration of miracles. And on this Easter three families, countless friends and an entire community can share in giving thanks for having witnessed so many over the course of the last year.

TONY CLARK is the general manager and advertising director at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at