From the Free Presbyterian Tract Society
Saturday, August 27, 2005
– (Fenelon Falls, Ontario)
began to mark the scorched pavement as Mike swung his leg
over the gleaming tank of his new Electra Glide Harley and
carefully adjusted the wing mirror for the hour and a half
ride home. It had been one of those perfect summer days in
Fenelon Falls, the “jewel” of Kawartha Lakes country. Mike
Kruger (58) and his wife Sharon (56) had been up at the
marina working on their boat and had just christened her
“Lady Cameron” – a little grand for an old house cruiser—
but a classic case of beauty in the eye of the beholder.
They had worked on her for three days and were satisfied
that, although there was still a lot to do, there was no
immediate rush. There would always be next summer.
seasoned passenger, climbed on the back and tightened her
chinstrap mechanically, rehearsing a mental checklist of
boat lock-up, keys, purse. All clear, she nodded to Mike for
take-off and the invisible clock that was set at 22 minutes
began its backward count. Sharon hadn’t noticed the rain,
but the warm, humid breeze evoked pleasant thoughts of
definite progress in the boat’s restoration and the
impromptu breakfast at the cottage that morning with her
parents and three siblings. She gave a contented sigh,
inaudible over the deep-throated engine. 20 minutes.
Mike turned north onto Hwy. 35 and made the short jog over
to the Glenarm Road in his usual meticulous way, keeping
perfect symmetry with the white lines. You would think
after all these years of riding bikes, he would ease up on
the perfection a little. After 38 years of marriage,
Sharon still found Mike’s predictable attention to detail
The intermittent drops progressed into a light rain now,
releasing an earthy smell not unwelcome in cottage-country
and the sun eked out a few bold rays despite the increasing
cloud cover. Visibility was still good as there were two
hours to go before sunset and Mike planned to be home before
dark with no intention of getting the bike wet. 10
minutes. He respected his bikes (even convincing Sharon
to relegate a room on the main floor of their new home as a
sort of showroom). He chose to ride when the weather was
right. Tonight, however, was an exception because he had to
get Sharon home to be with her Sunday school class the next
morning. Stormy weather was in the forecast but not expected
until much later. After all, the bike could handle a little
rain and he could certainly handle the roads. No worries.
down until he cleared the hamlet of Argyle, then kept the
throttle steady at 80 km/h traveling west on the wide-open
straights and gentle curves. 60 seconds. The Glenarm
Road afforded them a typical rural Ontario view of quaint
farmsteads and ripe cornfields. 30 seconds. There was
a familiar set of bends up ahead, so Mike geared down for
the approach and leaned gently into the first. 10 seconds.
With perfect control, he took the bend routinely which was
followed by a half-kilometer straight before the next. One
easy curve after another. 7 seconds. An oncoming
eastbound SUV emerged from the farther bend and came into
full view. Suddenly, Mike’s ease erupted into unbelief. He’s
in my lane! 6 seconds.
triggered experienced reflexes. Mike knew he had to take
control of this potential nightmare and get the bike out of
the vehicle’s path. He banked an immediate hard left. 5
seconds. In nearly 40 years of riding, Mike had never
had a serious accident and certainly never caused one.
Driving was his livelihood as a veteran Toronto Transit
bus/subway/LRT operator; he couldn’t afford to be careless.
Even in his younger days, he exhibited incredible skill at
the amusement fairs when he rode “The Globe of Death”
motorcycle stunt show before anxious spectators. Then there
were the two years as riding instructor for the Ministry of
Transportation and the many U.S. road trips, where he had
encountered potentially dangerous situations before and knew
how to react. While this one topped the list, it wasn’t
beyond his ability even with a passenger on the back.
Ability, skill – he had it all but one thing he hadn’t
factored in: it was August 27, 2005 and he was scheduled to
die. The appointment had been made. 4 seconds.
negotiating, no postponing, no avoiding. Death barters with
no man. Each will keep his appointment. When Mike rode out
of the Fenelon Falls Marina, he had no idea that he had only
22 minutes left. Carpe diem or seize the day
were among his last words at breakfast. “You never know when
your time is up,” he added lightheartedly. Seven hours
later, the day would not be seized but Mike would. But
I’m not ready! The boat’s only half done and Sharon can’t
manage it by herself. And the grandkids! I’m their Opa – I
want to wait till they grow up! I haven’t even retired yet.
I’m healthy! I can’t believe it would happen this way – no
warning? so sudden, so . . .
One. The eastbound SUV driver tried desperately to
repair his loss of control with a hard right to regain his
own lane, but in a sudden, horrific crash, the two collided.
Tragically, Mike Kruger was killed instantly. His brand new
bike became an unrecognizable heap of twisted metal.
Silently, the clock struck zero.
The angel of
Death rode off with its victim, intending to return for
another – Sharon. One was taken, the other left behind. On
impact, her body became a human projectile and was literally
pulled apart by the force of collision. Barely alive, she
lay broken and torn. Sharon sustained massive injuries:
damage to liver, bladder, bowels, stomach, and lungs; many
broken bones including, ten ribs, both ankles, right hand,
sternum and a severely broken pelvis; lacerations to limbs
and face; large gaping wounds on her left leg and at the
base of her spine; but miraculously minimal head injuries
and hardly a scratch on her helmet.
paramedic was the first on the scene, followed by emergency
workers who tended to her, but believed that their urgent
efforts were futile as she wouldn’t survive the night. In
addition, the approaching storm prevented them from
airlifting her to the Critical Care Unit of Sunnybrook
Hospital in Toronto. It would be five hours before she would
arrive there by ambulance with only a 20 percent chance of
survival. In 24 hours, she received over one hundred units
For two weeks,
Sharon hung between life and death in a coma while her
family kept vigil: praying. Weeks turned into months. She
would need seven months of hospital care, including several
major surgeries before she would begin to recover from the
agonizing trauma of August 27th.
were stacked against her. To onlookers, she was a living
corpse, awaiting the Call, but it did not come. Death was
powerless. Despite the doctors’ low estimates for survival,
Sharon’s life was totally secure, not dependent on medical
intervention. A higher Power was in control: in fact, the
Life does not belong to us. We must face this reality: No
self-preservation formula will save us from the final
appointment with Death. It will come – silently and
punctually. We spend our years as a tale that is told.1
Death will close the chapter of this life, but will open up
the next. People make elaborate retirement plans and even
their own funeral arrangements, but tragically, no plans for
what lies beyond. The reason? Most people believe that all
will be well when they “pass on.” If there is a God, he will
not turn me away since I’ve never killed anybody and I’ve
always tried to be a decent neighbour. Sadly, this thinking
is not based on fact. Good deeds cannot save a soul.
tragedy of this 21st century is that there is every means
available today to access the information needed to prepare
for the next life, but few bother to look into it. Instead,
they choose to remain in a contented ignorance, continue to
make plans, accept that they’re going to die some day, but
beyond that, it’s all an irrelevant fog. Maybe this sounds
like you. Friend, don’t be caught off guard. Face reality.
You must prepare now because the clock of your life is
unwinding as you read.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.4
The wages of sin is death [in Hell].5
2. Be aware
that God has made only one way – through His Son Jesus
Christ who said:
I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh
unto the Father but by me.2 Except a man
be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.3
and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish [in
Hell].6 If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness [sin].7
on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept His free offer of mercy.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved [from Hell].8 For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish [in Hell], but
have everlasting life.9
5. Call on
the Lord from your heart.
He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of
thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.10
Him [or her] that cometh to me I will in no wise cast
This is the
Gospel [good news] of God’s amazing gift of love
He offers to you. If Mike could speak, he would urge you to
consider these words while you have time. He knew the Way
before the accident and he surely knows it now. His
unexpected appointment with Death came right in the middle
of health, vitality, and cherished plans with Sharon, their
three children, and twelve grandchildren. What about you?
meet thy God12 is advice you cannot afford to
ignore. Get right with God now, because when your clock
reaches zero, it will be too late.
(Sharon has made an
amazing recovery from her serious injuries. After much
rehabilitation, she is now able to walk again and has begun
to lead a fairly normal life. Many prayers were offered on
her behalf and God answered in a miraculous way, especially
regarding her ability to cope without her husband. Wisely,
Sharon prepared to meet the Lord many years ago, which gave
her great comfort as she faced this immense trial.)
1 Psalm 90:9
2 John 14:6
3 John 3:3
4 Romans 3:23
5 Romans 6:23
6 Luke 13:3
7 I John 1:9
8 Romans 10:13
9 John 3:16
10 Isaiah 30:19
11 John 6:37
If you have any questions
about what you have read, please
1600 Neilson Road, Scarborough, Ontario Canada M1X 1S3