A St. Patrick's Day Miracle

By Thomas Kelly (T.K.) • April 3, 2016

St. Patrick's Day of 2012 the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, mid-70's, no wind, it was beautiful. Naturally I rolled my motorcycle out and went for a ride. It was great, and I was cruising the back roads and enjoying myself when I came up on a stretch of road I've ridden a hundred times before. I always pay very close attention on this stretch because the road is deceiving. It looks like you can go faster than you really can on that stretch. I've learned that in the past, so, as I said, I always pay attention. I was cruising along, and I don't know WHAT happened. If I thought I was doing something wrong, or pushing the limits, I'd admit it. But I know this stretch is not the place for it, so I wasn't. Anyway, the next thing I knew both me and the bike were down and sliding down the shoulder of the road, and I was thinking, "WHOA! WHAT’S HAPPENING!?" The bike and I finally slid to a stop 180 degrees from the direction we'd been going, down an embankment, in a ditch, with my bike on top of me!

Now comes the part that has me completely in awe. It's almost cliché to say, "With God, all things are possible." You know what? I BELIEVE!!! After I came to a stop, I slid out from under my bike and stood up, brushed myself off, and checked myself over. I was fine! Nothing! Nada! HOW is that even possible? I was doing somewhere between 40-45 mph when I went down! Yes, I was wearing all my gear. Full face helmet, jacket with body armor in it, gloves, long pants, and boots. Undoubtedly that has a good deal to do with mitigating injuries. Without that gear I would certainly have gotten significant trauma, but to go down at that speed and be able to walk away unscathed is nothing short of a miracle. Still having doubts? Read on.

As I was standing there taking stock of myself, a car came along. I waved it down and it stopped. The driver asked if I needed help, and I said sure did! He parked and waved down a couple more cars, and the guy who lived across the street came over as well. My bike is 1100cc, and the dry weight of it is 475 pounds. With the bike on its side, and the top facing downhill, standing it up was gonna be tough because we were not only trying to get it upright, but doing so uphill! However, with four strong guys it was up quickly, pushed up out of the ditch, and back up onto the blacktop. The gentleman who lived across the street said I could put it in his driveway, so we pushed it over there. Once everyone was assured that I was unhurt and had a phone to call for help if I needed to, they all went on their ways as I expressed profuse thanks for all of the help they had given to me, a total stranger. Fearing the worst, I started to examine my bike. There was a whole bunch ! of dirt packed up in and around the folding foot peg, one of my mirrors had come loose and was spinning around, but unbroken, the little ball-end of my clutch lever had snapped off, and the engine would not crank over to start. That was it. No fluids were leaking from anywhere, all of the lights were unbroken and worked, front and rear brakes worked, and the front fork, frame, and tires looked fine. In fact, none of the sheet metal for the front and rear fenders and gas tank was bent or dented. My custom paint job was unscratched and didn't even have a ding in it anywhere! HOW is that even remotely possible?

I dug the dirt out from around the foot peg and frame, got out a wrench and tightened my mirror in the proper position. One of the guys had seen the ball-end of my clutch lever on the ground and gave it to me, so that was in my pocket. Now I had to figure out why the engine wouldn't crank. The battery and all wiring connections were good on the starter and switches. I stopped to think of how the system is set up, and I remembered that there’s a safety switch on the kickstand. It's designed so if you forget to raise the kickstand, and put the bike in gear, the switch kills the ignition circuit and shuts the engine off. It prevents you from riding off with your kickstand down. I inspected the switch, and sure enough, there was a bunch of dirt packed up in there preventing the switch from moving. I cleaned out the dirt holding the plunger in place so it could move properly. Then I turned on the ignition and hit the starter. Vroom! I was back in business. I went to! the door of the house to let them know I was leaving, and thanked them again for their help. I put my gear on again, and as they stood there with their mouths hanging open I climbed on my bike and rode away. I was taking it kind of easy and feeling out the bike to see if anything seemed amiss. As I headed home I thought, "It seems okay, but if something's wrong, I want to know." So I stopped taking it easy and started to put the bike through its paces. At 75mph the bike was rock solid. I rode home whispering prayers of thanks and praise inside my helmet, and put the bike away in the garage.

I spoke with my pastor after services the next day and related my story. He said, "That is absolutely a miracle." He confirmed that whatever part I play in God's overall plan, I'm not done yet. Maybe, just maybe, I'm supposed to share the story of a miracle I experienced one Saturday afternoon when I was out riding my motorcycle. God has certainly gotten my attention, and if I ever had any doubts before, I don't anymore. The fact that I was able to slide out from under my bike, and walk away unscathed, after going down at that speed is a miracle all by itself. How in the world does a machine like my motorcycle go down at that kind of velocity, slide along the shoulder and into a ditch without being damaged, and I'm able to ride it home? You know the ball-end that snapped off the end of my clutch lever? I used crazy glue and put it back on! It's not perfect, but I plan to leave it there so when people ask about it I'll have the opportunity to share the story of my miracle and disciple for Him! That’s the least I can do for the One who sacrificed himself for me. Is anyone curious about how my bike is doing? It's outside in my parking spot; I rode it to work today.

- Tom Kelly (TK)

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