To read about a certain Englishman's electrocution, click here.
John was also a certain Englishman, only he was actually born in England. At Castle Donnington, Leicestershire, to be exact, in 1820.
He joined the LDS Church when he was 28 and moved from England to Utah 26 years later when he was 54.
One summer morning around 10 o'clock, he was walking to the store in Smithfield, Utah with a few eggs in his basket. On his way he stopped by the home of Thomas Smith. He stood under some shade trees and chatted with Thomas' son who was fixing up a plow.
They must have been talking about the weather. Most likely they were talking about the sky and the threat of rain.
Because John's last words were:
"Well, if it rains, it will do both good and harm."
When suddenly there was a loud peal of thunder and quick lightning.
The lightning passed through John's right shoulder and down his right side and killed him instantly. His underclothing was burnt, but his outer clothing was fine.
Thomas' son was also struck down and stunned for a minute. His back was scorched but otherwise he was okay. (This is why we know John's last words.)
Amazingly, the eggs were just fine, none were damaged.
As I've thought about John's last words how the rain will bring both good and harm, I wondered what he meant. How can rain be both good and bad?
Why did the lightning that struck that summer morning in Smithfield, Utah kill one person but save another?
I did some research to try to find out who most likely was also under that tree and survived. I don't know for sure, but it most likely was Manfred Smith, son of Thomas Smith of Smithfield Utah. He would have been 20 at the time and was a farmer. So let's just say it was him.
Manfred Smith would eventually marry and have 10 children. He'd live long enough to bury 3 of them, 1 would die in his arms at the age of 5 on Christmas Day of whooping cough. So while he did avoid a tragic end on August 15, 1888, he did see his share of tragedy.
And don't we all? Sometimes we are saved, sometimes we aren't. Sometimes we are healed, and sometimes we stay sick. Rain continues to pour down onto our lives and it brings both good and harm.
As we look around and see what seems to be the unfairness of it all, I can't help but wonder why. Why does lightning sometimes strike us dead like John Newbold, and other times we are saved in miraculous ways like Bradford Pack?
I don't know. But I do know that this life is not our happy ending. Our happily ever after will come, but just not now. Yet we can still find joy while on our journey to our happy ending. Even when the raindrops fall and bring harm instead of good.
To read more about your happy ending, click here.
To read more about finding joy now, click here.