MONROE, Ga. — Kids may say the darndest things, and Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things may put some things into perspective, but it’s God who leads us to water.
John 4:14 says, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Four-year-old Makiah King made an innocent gesture. She offered the money in her piggy bank to help provide clean drinking water for those in need. Two weeks later, on Oct. 8, 2010, Makiah was killed in a car crash.
If there was going to be forgiveness, it had to start somewhere.
— Cameron King
The family was returning from a vacation in Florida. An SUV attempted to turn in front of the Kings’ car; the collision caused the Kings’ vehicle to overturn. Makiah died from injuries suffered in the crash.
Her obituary read, in part: “Makiah Kaitlyn, who was the joy of her parents’ hearts, loved to dance for Jesus, color pictures, and play with princesses. … She had a laugh that was the envy of angels and a sparkle in her eyes that was put there by God himself.”
Cameron and Rachel King were put through the emotional wringer in the wake of such a tragedy — anger, depression, the everyday struggles for understanding. Also, at the time of the crash, Rachel was about four months pregnant with twins.
Jill Felts, founder and CEO of Compelling Creations, noted the Kings’ story “has always been very personal to me, because I know that if we could layer the dates of all the events around that time … Makiah gave her piggy bank just as the ink was drying on the words ‘Living Water’ that I wrote around the base of the well charm. God is not a God of accidents.”
Like many things in life, that was not the end of the story. Rachel again was pregnant, and in small-town USA everyone knows everybody’s name — or has some connection.
While Rachel was in labor, Cameron scrubbed down to be in the delivery room. A doctor, a friend who had been there through the tragedy and aftermath of Makiah’s death, was also preparing for the birth. The doctor told Cameron that one of the nurses in the room would be the mother of the SUV driver that killed Makiah.
That presented Cameron with a decision — proceed or get another person in the room for this personal moment. “If there was going to be forgiveness,” Cameron said, “it had to start somewhere. … Grace is what it was, and I had to do it.”
Today, Cameron and Rachel are at the forefront of New Song Church in Monroe, Ga., and they have four daughters — Abby, Alena, Maddie Grace, and Eliana. And like “a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” Makiah’s life is the backstory to a charm that has spurred 15 wells to help those in need.