It was a miracle – a BIG miracle. At least that’s the only way I can describe it. I’ll tell you about it and you can decide for yourself.
I had gone out to a retreat center about 3 hours from home. I had been there a number of times before and knew the road pretty well. I also knew it was a road you needed to be able to see clearly if you were going to drive it safely.
The evening I left to drive home, it was a little drizzly but not really bad weather. Just getting dark. I went over the Hudson River, paid the toll and started toward home. The road rises up the “mountain” and has been cut through the rock. So the “median” is actually a lot lower than the highway in the direction I was traveling. The right side has the rock face rising up along the break-down lane. The road itself is 2 lanes in each direction, though the “other direction” is much further down the mountain than “my direction” was.
As I continued up the mountain, I drove into the clouds – literally. It had nothing to do with my spiritual state at that moment. The fog was suddenly so dense that I couldn’t see. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I couldn’t see anything! I couldn’t even see any light from my headlights bouncing off the fog. The only thing I could see were the lights on my dashboard. It was like having the car wrapped snugly in an opaque blanket. Needless to say, I slowed down and put on my hazard lights. I doubted anyone would see them. I didn’t know what else to do. If I stopped completely, I would be a sitting duck for the first idiot that came buzzing along. If I tried to pull off to the right side breakdown lane, I risked smacking into the rock face. If I made a wrong move while steering, I would either hit the rock face or tumble down the embankment to the median and opposite lane below.
I didn’t see my life flash before me, but I did have that sense of time slowing down; of being able to think of all the options and their results in what seemed like a very orderly manner, though it was probably just a matter of seconds. The problem was that I couldn’t see any solutions. I felt totally alone, closer to panic and terror than I’d ever felt. There was only one thing left to do – pray!
Boy, did I pray! Pulled out all the stops, invoked all the ancestors who had gone before me to intercede. I needed a miracle – a parting of the fog, as it were. Instead I got something with fog lights. I call it something because I couldn’t really see it. I could only see the lights. It seemed to me at the time that it had to be a Jeep of some sort, with the fog lights mounted on the front fenders. It pulled up behind me, then passed me and pulled back in front of me. I latched on to those taillights and stayed close as I topped the mountain.
That’s when it got weird … there are no exits on that stretch of the road. But as “we” came down, out of the clouds, that other vehicle disappeared. Yes, I said disappeared. It didn’t go off the road, it had no place to exit, but it was gone. Gone. How was that possible?
I had the rest of a two and a half hour drive to ponder that question. The light had definitely been real, hadn’t it? Where could a vehicle have gone? The adreneline stopped surging and my heart rate and breathing slowed. I definitely thanked God for whoever or whatever it had been. I have traveled that route many times since and there is still no place a vehicle could have gone. So was the vehicle really an angel in a guise my brain could trust in that time of terror? I can hear the 50’s style song now – “Jeep Angel…” People have looked at me with barely surpressed amusement when I have told this story and I have even questioned myself about the possible reality of what I describe. If there had been a vehicle in front of me as I came out of the fog, I would have still thanked God and believed that it was the Grace of God that had brought that vehicle and its driver into my life at the very moment I needed it. But there was no vehicle. There was nothing at all.
So it all comes down to this: I was there. I saw it happen. There is no logical explanation for what happened that I can find. I have to believe it was a miracle.
I have had many spiritual experiences in my life that convince me that God is active in my life. Maybe I’ll share others down the road. But after a miracle like that, I trust I am protected wherever I am. That’s why I can travel and not worry about problems. That reminds me, time to go finish packing. Vacation starts in about an hour … talk to you soon.