Saved by a
Writing to her son Edson on August 10, 1896, Mrs. White mentioned a household accident that had injured her face. She had gone outside to where she kept a crate of oranges. Beside the crate stood a pile of tree stumps workmen had pulled from the fields while clearing land for what is now Avondale College, and Mrs. White used them in her cookstove. Stooping over the crate to fill a milk pan with oranges, she suddenly felt dizzy and slumped forward. The stumps seemed to rush upward, the jagged roots ready to claw at her face. Instantly she realized that if she fell against the stumps, the gnarled wood would slash and cut and bruise her face, probably disfiguring her for the rest of her life. Just as instantly she prayed for God to protect her.
Quickly she shielded her face with the milk pan she had intended to fill with oranges. The fall knocked her unconscious. When she revived and struggled up off the ground, she glanced at the pan. The blow had bent it almost double. Striking the pile of stumps first, it had protected her face. A spot throbbed with pain below one eye, and her cheek had swollen, but she felt thankful that the fall had not injured her worse.
Ella White, Mrs. White's granddaughter, stood a short distance away and saw the accident. There were no doctors nearby, and Ella raced into the house and pounded up some wood charcoal. Using the pulverized black powder and some hot water, she applied poultices to her grandmother's face until the soreness left and the swelling went down.
The accident could have destroyed Mrs. White's eyesight and prevented her from writing books, letters, and magazine articles. It could have crippled her service to God, perhaps ending it. But God had protected her, and she was able to continue her work. In the years that followed she wrote and supervised the compilation of such books as The Desire of Ages, The Ministry of Healing, Christ's Object Lessons, and volumes six through nine of Testimonies for the Church.
Pain from the injury lasted for about a year, but she considered it better than blindness and a mutilated face. During the painful months she continued to pray for healing. Eventually the cheekbone mended, and the pain left her face. Once again God had rewarded her faith and trust in His protection.
D. A. Delafield and Gerald Wheeler