After the Collision

After the Collision

Seth and I had the privilege of working together for many years. I have walked up big hills with Seth, landed in some valleys and stood together on top of some big mountains and looked down at the view celebrating God’s work in the
lives of people. I have learned a lot from Seth over the years and 
probably tortured him with my sense of humor and office pranks, too. He now embarks on a new journey and speaks out of that on this idea of wounded collision. Read what Seth shares…- Willow

After the Collision by Seth Thomas

What happens after the collision? The car crashes. The storm hits. The words ring in our ears and our lip is bleeding. 

Where do we go after the collision?
After the blow or after the break.

I’m struck by the stories that find themselves featured on this blog, the stories of hope rising from the ashes of collision. These are stories of courage, stories of the redeemed. And I find, they have to be stories of people who have begun to, but not yet completed, answering this very question of what happens after…

Picking up my meaning of collision, I am describing the negative, the encounter which wounds and penetrates our sense of security with every  indication that it will destroy us. Over the last few years, I’ve found myself facing this kind of collision in too many places: collisions with cancer, collisions with friends, collisions in my job and vocational identity. These collisions cause have caused me to come into close contact with the deepest collision, my own woundedness, my brokenness, my sin. And the sin, brokenness, and woundedness of others. 

I wonder about those moments that follow the collision. The car crashes and we wake up, bloodied or confused, crawling out of the wreckage. We stumble out of a season of life in a stupor, not sure of what happened, but certain that whatever just happened was traumatizing and downright painful. In this wondering, I’m challenged to say ‘where will I go? To whom or what will I turn?’

In the moments, days, or even years after a collision, we can turn to many things. We turn to what soothes the pain, makes it numb for a while. We turn to what lets the pain out, exploding and causing collisions of our own design to dismantle those caught in our path. We turn to destruction. I turn to harm, to reaction, to cheap distractions, trying to quench this wounded thirst.

But what these stories illustrate is that there is some other, some redemptive force, some power greater than our  wound, greater than the collision, that is, in fact, possible to turn to as well. The Christ, the Loving One, the Holy Go who stands alongside us is truly there in the moments after the collision.

What if the answer to this question, what happens after the collision, is that we are faced with opportunity to collide again? What if I collide with sorrow or run into despair and as I do, the One who will make it right again is standing there, ready to hold my pain, hold my brokenness, and soothe my wounds?

Collision begets collision, but of a different kind. There is an invitation to collide with arms that actually can hold the pain, a presence that can stand the silences and listen to the screams. The collision of love, the collision of acceptance, the collision of renewal. We are invited into a further brokenness, a complete brokenness, as Christ was once broken, all that we might be refashioned and made whole again.

Where will I go after this collision? Will I run to myself? Will I run to other wounded, broken pilgrims? Or will I allow myself to collide with the One who calls me out of death and into life? – by Seth Thomas


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