Today started out like a typical Thursday — we rushed around this morning, trying to get out the door in time for my oldest son to get to his co-op class. There wasn’t much in the cupboards for breakfast, so we left a couple of minutes early to go by the grocery store for some donuts (the kids didn’t mind). I dropped of John, then took the other three on some errands while we he was in class.
We went to two different stores and still had enough time to go to one more. I didn’t realize where the entrance was, though, and I passed our last stop, so I just turned in at the next store. Fortunately, there was a exit behind the store onto a small road that went to the one we missed. All was clear in my lane as I was turning right, until…
A small car suddenly shot out from behind a large truck in the other lane, crossing the double yellow line. I slammed on the brakes just in time, and it squeezed through, speeding between our van and the truck without hitting anything. It was quite startling for all of us.
I tried to reassure the children. “We weren’t hit, and everyone is all right. God was certainly watching out for us.” We all caught our breath and went on with the day.
Later, in the afternoon, I went out again with my daughter Cassie for a consultation with an orthodontist. She had been looking forward to it for quite a while, as she’s ready to get her teeth straightened out. We had traveled for 20 minutes and had about 10 more to go, when we came to a stop light. As we were sitting there, our van just shut off.
I tried a few times to start it, but to no avail. We were the first ones in line at the light, so I put on the hazard lights and everyone started going around us. I wasn’t sure if I could push the van out of the way, or if my daughter (only 11) would be able to steer it off the road. I was able to reach my husband at work, but he was at least 15 minutes away.
About that time, I looked up the road in the direction from which we had come, and a saw a young lady with a large shoulder bag walking our way. She looked to be in her early 20′s, so I thought she might be walking home from a branch of the local university about a half mile away. She walked right up to us and asked us if we needed help.
“Sure,” I said. “Could you steer while I try to push the van off the road?”
“Yes,” she replied and got in the car. My daughter and I got behind the car and started pushing. To my surprise, it moved very easily, and within moments it was out of the way of traffic.
“Thank you,” I said as she got ready to leave. Before I knew it, she was walking back up the road. I watched her for a few minutes, waiting to see which house she would turn in to, as there were several between our van and the campus. But she never did. She kept walking and walking, all the way back towards the campus until she was out of sight.
When my husband arrived, we told him about the woman. “Maybe she was an angel,” he said.
“Maybe,” I had to agree. She certainly came to our aid at just the right time.
We missed the appointment, and spent the next hour arranging everything so we could get the van fixed. My daughter was quite disappointed — it had not been a good day.
“But,” I told her, “even though things didn’t go well, we still saw how God takes care of us. We didn’t crash, even though the man was speeding and driving in a crazy way. And we had help — almost from nowhere — just when we needed it. There is certainly a lot to be thankful for. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad day after all.”