12 years ago, 3 of my closest friends were leaving a movie, as they made a right turn out of the parking lot, they were plowed into by a 17 year old, late for curfew, on his way home.

Oh, he was going “in excess of 110 miles an hour” and had a blood alcohol content of 1.googleplex (I don’t remember anymore, it was appallingly over the limit.)

12 years later they are all fine. There are many many stories I could share about this one event. But basically it was the moment I realized we truly were not invincible, and everything I didn’t learn about faith from a grandma, I learned from this.

I also learned that faith can be fu-NEE!

My friend M. is a preacher’s kid. He sustained the worst injuries from the crash, being thrown out of the back of the car like a rag doll and landing on a sidewalk across the street. The sidewalk for the State Farm agency that would be handling a lot of the insurance claims, as irony would have it. He landed on his face, for the most part, and this tossed him into a semiconscious state where his speech skills were limited to two words.

“Ow. Fuck.”

We gathered around his bed and told him about football scores, to which he replied with a conversational, “Ow. Fuck”.

We told him about the plot of Days of our Lives. He replied with an annoyed, “Owwwww. Fuck.” Which you just knew meant gimme outta here, I don’t want to listen to this shit when I’m conscious, much less stuck in bed.”

We told him about the people praying for him, and the messages we’d heard. He replied with a gracious, “Ow, Fuck.”

And in the night, when the pain got bad, he would yell “ooooooowwwwwwwfffuuuuuuuuck!” and all the other residents in the ICU with similar consciousness would join in the ow fuck chorus.

Now his mom just couldn’t take it anymore.?Ǭ† She patiently taught him, “Say Ow, Jesus Christ.” (Not the JC of the stubbing of the toe, the JC of the reverent prayer.)

Which he did …. sort of ….

Now his mantra was:

Ow! Fuck Jesus Christ!