98: The Real Superman

98: The Real Superman

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

The Real Superman

God is faithful…

~1 Corinthians 1:9

I was sipping my morning coffee when the front door opened and my husband, James, walked in. I had sent him off to work an hour earlier and didn’t expect him until lunchtime.

“Chris, get dressed,” he said. “We have to go see Bradley.”

He continued as I dressed. “I got a call saying there was an explosion at work and all I know is that his eyes were injured.”

“No, no, no… please no, God! His eyes? Oh nooo…” I began to cry. “What other injuries?”

“That’s all I know. It will take a couple of hours. Are you ready?” We walked toward the door. Just as one would reach for a lifeline, I instinctively reached for my Bible.

James drove in silence. I began to picture my son lying in a hospital bed, blinded… burned… internal injuries…. Stop! Desperately, I searched my memory for verses I could speak to calm myself. “I will not leave you or forsake you.” “I will not give you more than you can bear.” As I called one after another to mind, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know the scriptures word for word or even where they could be found. I spoke them aloud, interspersed with partial prayers for mercy and comfort.

“Please, God, comfort my son. Do not let him be afraid. Let him feel Your presence.” I continued to sob even as I prayed. James remained silent. We each had to handle this in our own way.

“If it be in your divine will, God, I ask you to heal my son’s eyes. Let him see.” I could not imagine my son not being able to see, to work, to support his family.

“Whatever happens, God… I ask You to give us peace, comfort and strength.”

I reached for my Bible. My hands shook, my body trembled, and my heart raced. I opened it and a slip of blue paper fell out. My four-year-old granddaughter had colored a picture on one side. On the opposite side was a scripture reference written by her Sunday school teacher along with the words, “I can talk to God.” I quickly found the scripture in my Bible and read it and those that followed. Amazing! God was telling me that he hears my prayers.

A peace came over me. The panic and fear, the trembling and accelerated heartbeat all faded. God had given me assurance through a child’s long-forgotten lesson stuck within the pages of His Word!

As James and I drew closer to the hospital we received a phone call telling us that our son had been released! We took a detour and headed to his home instead. He was on his couch propped up with pillows.

Wanting badly to embrace my son, I examined him for visible injuries. His face was burned, but not as badly as I had pictured. His hair was singed and he had no eyebrows. Both eyes were bandaged as well. Besides a problem hearing in one ear, he seemed to have no other injuries. I breathed a grateful sigh of relief. “Thank You, God!”

“Can you tell us what happened?” his dad asked.

Bradley is an electrician. When the accident occurred he and a co-worker were inside a large walk-in closet.

Bradley explained. “The foreman arrived and checked first to make sure all power was off using his voltage meter. Then I checked, using my own voltage meter. My co-worker did the same. We always follow this procedure before work begins. A red flag is then placed to notify other workers that voltage must remain off. We all pronounced ‘all clear’ and began work.” He spoke as though he were examining each detail for a flaw, something left undone.

“My co-worker stepped outside the closet to get a tool as I began to pull new wire into the closet. I needed to cut a couple of inches off a conduit pipe. The pipe hit the high voltage buss bar, which would have been no problem had the power actually been off. Someone had removed the red tag and turned power back on without clearing it with the work crew first. The pipe exploded in my hand and became red-hot flying shrapnel. My full body was facing the explosion.” He gave a slight shudder as he relived that moment.

“I saw a bright light and one minute I was standing there, the next I was face down on the floor about six feet back. I remember everything on me hurting. Then I remember trying to get up, trying to open my eyes and being extremely frustrated that I could do neither.” Bradley’s voice now held a sense of urgency.

“Alarms and sirens were blaring. I smelled singed hair and thick smoke. I heard voices but they seemed off in a distance and distorted… except for one.” Brad’s voice softened when he shared what he remembered next.

“Another co-worker and good friend had come running and knelt beside me. ‘Just stay down. Stay down, buddy. You’ll be okay. Take it easy.’ He kept speaking to me calmly. ‘Just stay there. Help’s coming, buddy. You’re okay. Help’s coming.’ I listened and stilled.

“Then the paramedics came and put me onto a gurney and loaded me into an ambulance. I should have been scared witless by now but wasn’t. I felt frustration,” Brad recalled. “I wanted to open my eyes but couldn’t.

“Doctor said my eyelids were melted shut. It hurt like heck when he peeled them apart and applied drops. That numbed the pain, then the drops felt cool and wonderful in my eyes. All I could see was super bright light. Then he closed my eyes, slathered them with a medicated ointment, and applied bandages.” Bradley stopped here and we thought he had shared all he wanted. We waited.

He reached blindly for his wife’s hand and found it, turned to his other side and found his sister’s before he finished. “Next I heard my sister’s voice beside me. Then I heard my wife. No one can imagine how comforting a familiar voice can be.”

Brad was off for a month then returned to work. At work they call him Superman. He is quick to tell them, “There is only one real Superman and without Him I wouldn’t be here!”

Though his eyesight returned, he had to use eye drops daily and wear sunglasses even on cloudy days when outdoors. He still has a slight hearing loss in one ear and also has to deal with frequent, chronic headaches. “I’ve only complained once and Dad set me straight.” He laughs. “Dad says, ‘Brad, you are here… you’re playing golf!’ ”

The closet where Bradley had worked had shrapnel embedded in all four walls. On one wall shrapnel outlined Bradley’s silhouette. Holes randomly formed where the shrapnel had blown through the wall. Bradley’s Superman cap had blown off his head.

Not one piece, not even a small piece of shrapnel embedded in my son or his cap! Though his clothing had scattered burn holes, all his burns were superficial and he had no internal injuries! We’ve seen pictures of victims in similar electrical explosions and are simply amazed. Only divine intervention can explain Bradley’s miraculous protection!

~Christine M. Smith

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