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Published:May 25th, 2010 08:42 EST

The Miracle of the Flying Pickaxe

By John G. Kays



A 4-foot pickaxe suddenly flies off a pickup truck ahead of you, tumbles through the air, shattering your windshield, and lodges in the front seat between you and your passenger. This actually happened to a couple, Peter Henning and his wife, Maxine, while driving their Mercedes SUV on a freeway, Interstate 405 near Kirkland, Washington on Sunday, at around 3:45 in the afternoon.


What are the odds that this strange accident would happen in just the way it did? The windshield glass shattered but neither Pete nor Maxine Henning got cut from it. They both wore eyeglasses and this protected their eyes. And the windshield must have been safety glass; it broke into tiny round pieces.


The 4-foot pickaxe must have whizzed by mere inches from the fortunate couple, sparing the couple`s lives. And if I heard it correctly, the pickaxe did graze Pete ever so slightly. I should think that a pickaxe is fairly heavy? A random, hefty gust of wind must have hit the assailant`s pickup truck, and swept the tool into the air-just a fluke I suppose?


An eyewitness actually called 911 and described the pickup truck as a late 1980`s or early 1990`s model, green or teal in color, with wood panels on the side of the bed. This is a crime in the state of Washington to not have these tools secured or tied down. A conviction can result in one year in jail and 5,000 in fines. The eyewitness said the culprit`s truck was jam packed full of debris. "


A Washington State Trooper, T. M. John, stated to CNN News just how serious this accident was. It could have easily taken off either of their heads or caused major damage to them, it was a very scary situation. "  To me, the odds are much greater that the pickaxe would have hit one of the Hennings or perhaps both of the couple. But to miss them entirely and wedge in between their seats the way it did, is as the Dylan song goes, a simple twist of fate. "


Pete sees a lesson in the mishap and understands the randomness of such incidents, they can come at anytime, anywhere. Pete also realizes they might not have been so lucky. Perhaps an unknown force protected the couple or maybe it was a sign of things to come? I`m just speculating, but surely it must mean something?


I lay awake last night in idle thought. How could the "pickaxe incident` be a mere random event of the universe, a clashing of matter or particles that come together in just this unusual way? I.E. Was it purely coincidental, random, meaningless, maybe even Sarte`s Existentialism? Or is it the Hand of God intervening, showing us a sign, a miracle provided where lives are saved and lessons learned?


I was leaning in the "Causation from a Higher Power` camp myself last night. I thought of the Hand of God, such as is on Michelangelo`s Sistine Chapel, sweeping down just at 3:45 PM Sunday, on that lonesome Kirkland, Wa. Freeway, and curving the pickaxe ever so slightly, so as to miss the untimely couple.


Yes, this was no "simple twist of fate,` this was the grace of God giving us a sign of things to come. There`s purpose and meaning to this event (it`s not just random), but what is our Higher Power attempting to tell us with his/her intervention, that`s what I don`t particularly get yet? (Sources-KTLA and CNN)