A Tale of Forgiveness From Devon

A good news story from Exeter on the Express and Echo Website:

An East Devon couple were seriously injured in a head-on crash in October 2012 when a drunk driver was travelling on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

Now, two years later, survivor Maggie Gordon has told Echo reporter Adam Walmesley how the horrific accident changed her life and why she has forgiven the driver.

IT was one of the more horrifying incidents to have occurred on the city’s wider road network in recent years.

A drink driver, twice over the legal limit, made a U-turn, drove the wrong way on the A30 between Exeter and Honiton, and hit another vehicle.

The crash took place at around 12.25am on 21 October 2012 as Maggie Gordon, 50, and her husband Nick, 51, were travelling from the city to their home near Ottery St Mary.

Maggie said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw two headlights coming towards us. Nick swerved to avoid the car, and then I blacked out.”

The mother-of-two was left fighting for her life in hospital and facing a two-year road to recovery.

Just hours before the crash the couple, who are both committed Christians, were enjoying a meal in the company of church friends in Exeter.

As they began the short journey, the couple were talking casually and listening to Christian music.

Then suddenly they saw a car, driven by Michael Morgan, 57, travelling at speed straight towards them.

Despite frantic efforts to avoid it, the crash took place and Maggie passed-out.

She woke-up to find herself trapped inside their stationary car on the highway in pitch darkness.

Maggie said: “I remember that it was really cold, it was really dark, and we were in a lot of pain. I couldn’t believe we were both still alive, but I thought I was going to die.”

Nick had managed to exit the vehicle, but collapsed on the ground in pain before he could reach his wife.

Passers-by rushed to the aid of the couple and contacted the emergency services.

Maggie said: “I gradually felt in more and more pain. I tried hard to keep breathing, stay conscious and just hang on.”

She suffered severe chest and stomach injuries, two broken legs and two cracked vertebrae. Nick sustained two cracked ribs and a severe cut to his leg.

From the moment of arriving in hospital, Maggie said her Christian faith gave her comfort and peace.

Maggie said: “I didn’t know if I would live or die, but I felt strangely peaceful. I couldn’t really pray, but I had a deep sense that God was with me. I thought of Psalm 23: ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me’.”

Read more at the Express and Echo website.

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Have Jedis created a new ‘religion’?

Interesting read over at BBC News:

Followers of Jediism are aiming to build a belief system that goes beyond the Star Wars films. But does it amount to a new religion?

It began as a joke at the expense of statisticians. In the UK’s 2001 Census, 390,127 people – or 0.7% of the population – described themselves as Jedi. A question on religious belief had been asked for the first time in a census and Jedi – from the cloak-wearing, lightsaber swishing rebels in the Star Wars films – was a tongue-in-cheek response.

It was a post-modernist Star Wars joke by atheists. Or so many assumed. But for some the force was strong.

An ideas festival at Cambridge University this weekend will look at how new “religious movements”, such as Jediism, the Indigo Children and Wicca, have expanded online. And in the case of Jedis, how they have developed ever-more complex doctrines and scriptures.

What might have started as an intellectual exercise by fans adding to the movies and filling in the gaps, has become an attempt to build a coherent religious code.

Beth Singler, a researcher in the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University, estimates that there are about 2,000 people in the UK who are “very genuine” about being Jedis. That’s roughly the same number as the Church of Scientology, she says. Jediism is not a joke for them but an inspiration. They don’t believe in “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”, says Singler quoting the opening text that fills the screen of Star Wars. “It’s somewhere between metaphor and literal truth.”

Read the rest over at the BBC News website.