I am truly a blessed person, one who is very grateful for heavenly help. Angels seem to know exactly when I need them, especially when I’m traveling.
Once, when Rick and I were on our motorcycle, driving very slowly, we drifted onto the side of the road into sand. Because of our leisurely speed, we got stuck and ever so gently, tipped over. This was our very big and heavy Goldwing and although we were not hurt, the bike was on top of our legs and we couldn’t get up. Before we could even state to each other our predicament, a gorgeous, Fabio looking man, with long flowing blonde hair, drove up on his Harley. Instantly, he got off his bike, pulled our bike upright, freeing us to stand and then drove off. He never said a word and everything happened so quickly we did not have chance to say thank you or ask his name. We looked at each other and agreed – this was an angel from God.
In January, I hosted an IPPW meeting in the community room at a high-rise apartment in Manchester. On the agenda was not only a fabulous meeting, but snow greeted us in the afternoon. When the program ended, I told everyone not to worry about clean up, I would handle it. “Better go before the roads get really bad,” was my battle cry. They didn’t want to leave, but truthfully, I was tired and needed the down time of clean up to clear my head. Reluctantly they left and I started my chores.
I was done about an hour later and took all our IPPW boxes down the elevator. I left my things with the concierge and went out to move my car to the front to load. That was the first time I noticed how much snow had fallen. Yikes.
My car was in the parking garage and because of all the one-way streets around the building. I actually had to circle around about a mile before I got to the front entrance. While driving, I found out how bad the roads were – treacherous. It was the first snowstorm of the season and with a year between practices, people had forgotten how to drive and the snowplows had forgotten to put the blade down.
Finally, I loaded up my car and was just about to leave when I received a phone call from an attendee. She had forgotten her salad bowl and asked if I would bring it home with me, getting it to her the next time we met.
This particular salad bowl was nothing fancy. I remembered I had thought it belonged in the community kitchen and had put it in the cupboard. When she told me it was hers, I reluctantly knew what I had to do.
To use this community room, I must have approval from the management team. They notify the concierge who has a special key to use on the elevator to allow me to get to the private community room. I am not a resident there, so if I left that bowl behind, it would be a long time before I could retrieve it.
The snow was coming down heavier and heavier and I glanced at the clock on my dashboard: 5:30 PM exactly. It was dark and icy but I had to get the bowl. By the time I was back in the car, the time was precisely 5:40 PM. “Hummm’” I said to myself. “It was a ten minute delay. I wonder why God wanted me to leave ten minutes later than expected.” I then set out for the forty minute on a good day ride home.
The roads were horrible. Icy, icy, icy. At that time, my little Prius did not have snow tires. I was slipping all over the place taking lots of back roads as I maneuvered my way. I choose roads with the least amount of traffic and hills. We were living in a small house in Northwood and let’s just say there are lots of hills, twists and turns whenever we go anyplace. It was scary. I purposely went through a stop sign without stopping (I could see no one was coming) because I knew if I stopped I would never get going again.
My entire ride I had lots of cars behind me. I would have pulled over to let them pass, but there was no place to pull off where I would not get stuck.
It was about two miles from my home, not quite in Northwood, on the biggest, curviest hill of the entire drive; my little car decided it had had enough and would not go another slippery inch. I managed to get to the side of the road and waved as cars went around me. I was on was Route 43 and came to stop by a mailbox with a number 43. So the address was 43 Route 43, easy enough to remember.
Now, just a little background information – when I lived in Amherst, I was on an isolated back road heading home one winter evening when the road turned to glare ice. So icy, I could not get up a small hill and there was nowhere to turn around. I called the Amherst police and asked if they could send a sand truck because a tow truck would never make it on this road. They said they would along with a police cruiser. I explained there was no need for the cruiser, as they would get stuck too and was informed of the protocol to do so; only to call me back 20 minutes later telling me what I knew – it was too darn icy to drive on. As I waited for sand, a big, blue pick-up truck came by. A young man named Ben got out of his truck, and said, “Ma’am, are you OK?” I told him I was fine and just waiting for a sand truck. “I’ll wait with you, as you shouldn’t be out this way alone. How about if I push and see if I can get you going again?” With a “Give it the gas!” command, he began to physically push my car and got me moving. “Don’t stop,” I heard him yell. I was home safe and sound within ten minutes, and although I never saw him again, I am forever in his debt. He was a human angel God had sent to help.
Having the past experiences, being stuck at 43 Route 43 seemed like old hat. I looked up the phone number for the police station, dialed, only to hear a police recording stating it was closed. Hummm, not even a dispatcher. I really was living out in the middle of nowhere. Now what? I couldn’t find a number for the town highway department. I thought of calling a sheriffs department, but honestly I didn’t know what county I was in. I made a guess and guessed right – Rockingham. They answered and when I told the operator where I was, 43 Route 43 – he knew the corner precisely. Evidently I was not the only one who at one time in their lives had been stuck there.
He said to me he would send a sand truck out as soon as possible. Ok, I could wait. But the snow kept coming harder and harder making visibility at only a few feet. It was dark and the wind was whipping. I was warm in the car but keenly aware of the freezing temperature outside. Every so often a car would come around the corner or from the other direction, but mostly I sat alone.
That was until a big, blue pick up truck came up from the rear and stopped by my door. He rolled down his passenger side window and asked, “Ma’am, are you OK?”
“Oh, thank you for stopping, I’m ok. Just stuck on this hill. The highway department is sending a sand truck. I’m just waiting for them to arrive.”
“Well, this is a dangerous curve and I’m afraid drivers might not see you, so I’m going to pull behind you and wait with you for the sand truck. I want to make sure you are safe.” And that is exactly what he did. But, a minute later, he was tapping on my window.
Now, when I saw him so close, I will admit a flash of uneasiness went through my mind. Here I am stuck on a lonely highway in a snowstorm with a man I don’t know who could easily kidnap me. Then I remembered my other “stuck” incidents and reckoned if God had sent me angels before, I bet he would again.
I opened the window and he proceeded to tell me, if I backed up into the driveway of 43 Route 43, put it in a low gear and gave it the gas, he thought I could create enough momentum to get up the hill.
The snow was coming down hard, I could not even see a driveway and was worried I would really get stuck, so stuck I would need a tow truck. I asked his name, then “Joe,” preceded to tell me, like a good motivational speaker, I could do it, this would work and he would not leave me until I was safely home. I knew God had sent him to help and decided to trust him. I couldn’t see anything, but I listened to Joe’s instructions and followed them completely. “Turn left, now right, give it the gas, go as fast as you can, and I began to back into a driveway I never knew was there. When I could go no further, Joe instructed me to put my Prius in low gear, give it the gas, take a wide turn (going into the oncoming lane) and not to stop no matter what. Other lane? What if a car was coming? He reminded me I would see the lights if an oncoming car were there. And then he said the words that made me know everything would turn out all right, “I’m not going to leave you. I will be behind you all the way. Trust me, I’ll get you home.” And with that I stepped on the accelerator and took off. It was the slowest climb up a hill I have ever made. I’ve got very short legs and it takes me forever to walk anywhere, never mind a big hill. I remember thinking I could actually walk and beat this Prius in a race. With Joe behind me, I became persistent and fearless. He kept his promise and was right behind me all the way. Finally I made it to my street. I opened my window and waved him a thank you, expecting him to continue on Route 43. However, he turned onto my road and continued to follow me home.
He opened his window and spoke to me from his truck. “I’m glad I came along when I did, that was a dangerous curve. You probably couldn’t tell from where you were parked, but cars coming up behind you might not see you until it was too late. I bet within ten minutes, someone would have plowed into you. I’m just glad you are home safe. Good night,” and with those words, he was gone.
That’s when it hit me – Ten Minutes. Ten Minutes! That was the exact time I was delayed because of the salad bowl. I’m sure had I left at 5:30 PM, I would have got stuck the same way. Awful weather, icy roads and my little Prius stopping at the same 43 Route 43. But the ten-minute delay had come with something that would not have happened – Joe – being there exactly when I needed him. He would have come along ten minutes later and instead of keeping me safe, he might be dialing 911.
For a very long time I have practiced patience whenever I get delayed, such as being stuck in traffic or in exceptionally long lines at the grocery store. I always think God has a hand in it as a way of keeping me from danger, but this experience put those thoughts into perspective.
God is in control of everything. Nothing is random, nothing is left to chance. Some may say the plastic green salad bowl saved me. Or perhaps the forgetfulness of an attendee to grab her item was my salvation. Nope. It was God. All the time – every time. He is always present and always in control. He uses his children, like Ben and Joe and Fabio to help wherever needed.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? I bet it has. Pay attention. Notice things like delays or synchronicities. We have a loving God in charge of everything. Recognizing this allows me to worry less, because I know everything has a purpose, and we are in the hands of a loving, omnipotent presence. Next time you are delayed or something doesn’t happen in your time frame, remember this story and know you are in the hands of our loving Father. Everything will turn out perfectly.