Eyes can be tricky; be careful what you see

Published 6:40 am Wednesday, March 20, 2024

By Les Ferguson, Jr.

I was 12 when I got my first motorcycle. It’s been long enough that I can’t remember the make or size. After that, I graduated to a Yamaha YZ 125 dirt bike. Years later, I had a Suzuki GL 450 street bike. These days, I ride a Harley. 

I thoroughly enjoy “Wind Therapy.” Something about the freedom of a bike and the open road calls my name. 

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I know not everyone appreciates bikes. I know riding can be dangerous, and I do my best to ride with abundant caution. Even so, sometimes accidents happen. 

The following took place in Forest long ago. We drove to see my parents in Kosciusko, and it was getting dark. My oldest son, a third grader then, was in the back seat. While waiting for the light to change at a four-way intersection, a man made a left turn in front of us on his Harley. Suddenly, there was a quick screech of brakes, and I saw him go down. 

But then I saw something fly by in my peripheral vision. It was a leg.

I saw it hit the ground and bounce. At that point, I’m screaming, “It’s a leg, it’s a leg!” My wife yelled at me not to let our son see, but it was too late; he was out of his seat belt, standing, and watching. I dove out of the car, sprinted past the leg, and into a convenience store, screaming to call 911 that a man had lost his leg. 

I confess I lost it. I was hyperventilating. At one point, EMS was attending to me. Eventually, my wife moved the car I had abandoned to the convenience store, and another EMS tech came to give me the fateful news. “Son, you need to calm down. It’s an artificial leg.” 

That explained the lack of blood I failed to notice initially. The accident was terrible by virtue of a man down on the asphalt. But even after I knew it wasn’t as horrific as I thought, I still shook for a couple of hours with shock and adrenaline. After all this time, I can still see the tread of the track shoe attached to that prosthetic leg. 

I can laugh at myself now. I understand now how quickly I came undone and recognize how easy it is to rush to judgment. And because I know I am not alone, many of us need to learn and exercise discernment. Things are often not nearly as bad as we imagine them to be. 

May God bless us with eyes to truly see!

”What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?“ (Proverbs 25:7b-8 NIV)