I have recently found out more details about Mary Gardner’s death in the March 23rd bombing in Jerusalem. This story only becomes more incredible the more I learn.
I went to a church two weeks ago with a mixture of Israeli Messianic Jews and Christians from around the globe. After singing praise to YHWH and Jesus in Hebrew (English translation underneath), the pastor told an amazing story:
The day of the bombing, six children, all members of this church, were coming home from school. All of them usually take the bus that was to get bombed, Bus 74 (see note below). However, for three of the schoolchildren, “random coincidences” kept them from riding that bus today: One had a parent drive them home, the other two somehow took the bus just ahead of this one.
But that still leaves three children who were on the bus when the bomb went off. What happened to them? It turns out that on this day, Mary “coincidentally” sat in the row that they usually sit in, and the kids were forced to sit elsewhere on the bus. That crucial change of position meant that Mary took the brunt of the blast, while the children were spared.
I have also learned that later on in that difficult day, a rainbow appeared just as my one friend was desperate for encouragement and comfort. Rainbows, after all, are symbols of God’s faithfulness, and God was indeed faithful despite the tragedy.
I would highly encourage you, if interested, to read Mary’s brief biography to see the life that is possible when one surrenders everything to Christ. I had no idea how accomplished she was or how deep her dedication was: http://wycliffe.org.uk/blog/?tag=mary-gardner
[Note: Perhaps another ‘coincidental’ parallel to Bus 74 is Bus 174, a real-life Brazilian documentary about how a life of poverty, drugs, and despair drove a young man to take hostage a whole bus in a dramatic standoff with police. An interesting film to watch if you want to see the effects of constant oppression and injustice on this young man in Rio de Janeiro.]