You are invited to be a part of this coming Saturday’s Time Trial Benefit Race for Bradley Clark.
I have only had a few passing “race-day” interactions with Bradley Clark before his biking accident, but those conversations were enough for me to realize that he was different than most off-road bike riders.
Being a pastor, it often caught my attention when I would see the Clark family arriving to the Coastal Carolina Off-Road Series races in their Sunday duds and quickly making a wardrobe change into their race gear. I knew there was a deeper truth than what I had observed on the surface, but I was not prepared for the bulwark of Christ-centered faith I have seen in the Clark family over the last few months.
As you may or may not know, on Sunday night, August 26th, Brad was in Charlotte for business. As an avid cyclist, he rode his bicycle to dinner. On the way home, in the dark, he hit a curb and Brad went over the handle bars. Upon landing on the pavement, he hyperextended his neck and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Later, they discovered that he could not move or feel anything. Results from an MRI showed a disc in the neck (approx. C5-6) pushing on the spinal cord. Ultimately, he was taken for emergency surgery on Monday to remove the disc.
The expected time for Brad’s recovery is around six months and he is showing great signs of improvement. Brad and his family opted to relocate to a special spinal hospital in Atlanta to assist him in his daily recovery.
I encourage you to visit Brad’s Caring Bridge Page and catch up on the journal entries where he allows his children to take turns posting updates.
May I warn you that these journal updates are like none you will ever read from those walking through pain and suffering.
These updates are from a family who has a deep rooted faith in God’s Word and their Lord Jesus Christ. You might even take a second glance when you realize that many of the journal entries are written from the perspective of Brad and Rachel’s TEENAGE children! I have told my thirteen-year old daughter that if she grows up with half the spiritual maturity of the Clark kids, I will be a proud father!
Personally, I have integrated these journal entries into my daily quiet time as they have been a rich source of encouragement and strength for my daily walk with Christ. I remember being on my knees in tears the day I read Brad’s response to the question everyone is wondering but afraid to ask, “Will Brad ever ride a bike again?” Brad’s personal response,
September 7th, 2012, by Rachel Clark, “Dad wants to make sure that each and every one of you know that it’s okay if he doesn’t walk again. He doesn’t want anyone to be disappointed if the improvements stopped today and he never completely regains his mobility and strength. Dad is resting in God and thankful to be alive and ready to glorify Him. Believe me, he is!”
I was humbled greatly after reading this because I had just fallen in a rock garden while preparing for the Brunswick Brawl. Unfortunately, I hyper-extended my left elbow and my first instinct was to whine about whether it would slow down my training. I was far from the strong faith that Brad had expressed, and my injury was only minor in comparison. Upon reading Brad’s own words, I realized how selfish I had become in my thoughts and attitudes. God used Brad’s faith to knock me off my bike and onto my knees for deeper introspection.
The type of deep satisfaction and joy I see in Brad and his family during these times surely comes from a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.
I want to thank Brad for trusting, standing, praying, pulling, pushing, and striving to live out his testimony that God is building up day by day.
What a privilege it will be to pedal one more time with Brad and his family!
Ride and support Brad Clark this coming Saturday at the Time Trial Race at Brunswick Nature Park. RSVP at the MeetUp page.