A long bridge. Rainy weather. Slick roads.
When the big truck lost control, it came flying right at Don Piper’s little car. He was travelling at 55 and the truck was going at least 60 miles-an-hour when they collided.
The truck rolled right over him. The metal of his own vehicle crunched, twisted and collapsed, pinning Don inside, horribly breaking and killing him as well as colliding with another car nearby.
Rev. Don Piper, after being examined by multiple rescue medics, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The emergency rescue crew, after checking, re-checking and checking again for signs of life, covered his vehicle and trapped body with a tarp, then diverted their attention elsewhere. But, unknown to them, another rescuer was on the way, pressed forward by divine insistence.
Dick and Anita Onerecker were in the long line of traffic that came to a halt that January morning in 1989. An accident had happened. Traffic was backing up on both sides of the two-lane bridge spanning Lake Livingston near Huntsville, Texas.
They were heading home at the end of an annual Baptist General Convention of Texas statewide conference, at which they’d both been featured speakers. They pastored a church in Klein, Texas, just north of Houston. Don Piper had attended the same conference and had left at almost the same time as the Onereckers. They’d been ahead of him during the trip, moving in the same direction until Anita said she’d like some coffee.
Dick pulled over at a bait shop on Lake Livingston to get her some. While there, Don Piper passed them, taking the lead.
They’d missed being involved in the collision that killed Don by mere minutes and about half a mile.
After making it through the long line of vehicles, to the accident scene on the bridge, Dick asked the first policeman he saw if he could help. He told him he was a minister and asked if there was anyone involved he could pray for.
The officer told him two of the drivers involved were shaken up but physically okay, but the driver of the red car was a fatality.
Apparently, to God, that bit didn't make a difference in the mission He'd sent the Onereckers on. Rev. Onerecker felt God pressing him to pray for the dead man in the smashed car regardless.
"I know this sounds strange, but i want to pray for him anyway."
The officer's response was, "Well, you know, if that's what you want to do, go ahead, but I've got to tell you it's an awful sight. He's dead, and it's really a mess under the tarp. Blood and glass are everywhere and the body's all mangled."
God bless the vets...
Dick Onerecker wasn't just a pastor. He was also a U.S. military veteran who'd served as a medic in Viet Nam. The idea of blood and mangled body parts was a sight he'd already experienced so the thought of seeing and touching a battered victim didn't deter him, nor did the fact that the man was dead.
He'd heard the message and understood what God wanted him to do. Moments later, he was crawling under the tarp and through the severed back end of the smashed vehicle and from there, he leaned over the back seat, and placed his hand on the shoulder of the dead man. He checked for a pulse, and found none, then began to pray anyway.
"I felt compelled to pray. I didn't know who the man was or whether he was a believer. I only knew that God told me I had to pray for him."
Dick not only prayed, he was swept up with incredible emotion while in the car with Don, and began to mingle the singing of hymns with his prayers.
And then, with the stage set for the miraculous, the first of several were delivered.
The true story of Don Piper has continued to provide inspiration and blessings to millions who've read it and/or heard it. At the end of the book are countless messages from people who've endured the grief of losing a loved one, or experienced death themselves, and recovered from it.
His story is corroborated by a long list of medical professionals and specialists, and the story doesn't end with his return to life on that bridge over Lake Livingston, while pinned in the remains of his mangled car, and body.
That's only the beginning of the story ...
I hope I've enticed you to read the whole thing. I'm certain if you do, you'll know of someone else who could benefit from reading it as well. It contains no adult content or foul language and I highly recommend it for young adult readers and up.
That's it for this one ...
God bless you, thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a vet at your next opportunity.
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