Gray-green clouds billowed on the evening horizon. With a quick goodbye to my co-workers, I hurried to my car. Rain fell and quickly morphed into sleet. My car windshield wipers flapped at full speed, and I gripped the wheel as I drove the winding back roads to my parent’s home in the country.
Slowing down for a curve, my tires lost traction. The car spun out of control, skidded sideways, and crashed into a deep ditch. Rattled but unscathed, I sat praying, wondering what to do since my car was stuck.
Thirty minutes from home and without a cell phone, my options were to walk or sit and wait. If I waited, my parents wouldn’t know I was missing until later that night and they wouldn’t know which country road I had taken.
Several farmhouses sat off the road, but even to reach them would be a long walk. The only person within walking distance was a young man who had his checking account at the bank where I worked. I didn’t know him well. I was a teenage bank teller and he was a flirt.
Thinking perhaps he might be my best opportunity; I crawled out of my car and made my way up the ditch.
Just then, a beat-up, old station wagon stopped next to me. The passenger window rolled down. “Can I drive you somewhere?” The driver, an elderly man wearing stained painters’ coveralls, waited for my answer.
The freezing rain picked up in intensity. I hesitated and glanced at the abundance of paintbrushes, rollers, and paint cans spread throughout his vehicle. Cold and with limited choices, I opened the door and sat in his car. “I know someone nearby. He lives in a trailer up the road. Could you take me there?”
He looked at me, his gaze unwavering. “How well do you know him?” Somehow, I could hear my dad asking the same question.
I squirmed at his fatherly scrutiny. “Not well, he has an account at the bank where I work.”
He shook his head. “I won’t take you there. How far do you live?”
“About thirty minutes. But you don’t have to drive me that far.”
Again, his gaze locked into mine. “Do you have anyone you know well, or your parents know who lives closer?”
I couldn’t think of anyone for a few minutes until I remembered a family friend. “Yes sir. One of my mom’s friends lives about ten minutes away.”
He nodded and we drove in silence.
The house of our friend stood nestled off the road in a stand of trees. My rescuer drove his car down the wet pine-straw-covered driveway and stopped.
I thanked him and offered to pay for his trouble. Declining my offer, he waited as I ran to the house.
After I knocked on the door, my mom’s friend greeted me with open arms. A breeze filtered through the trees. I looked back. The pine-straw was undisturbed. My rescuer was gone.
Life is full of unseen dangers. Thankfully we have a God who protects, guides, and holds our hand through the storms of life. And sometimes, He even sends an angel wearing painter’s coveralls to carry us safely home.
Heavenly Father, thank You that even when life is cold and scary, we are never out of Your loving care.
“The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” (Psalm 34:7, HCSB)
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