Here’s what I have to say about that.
Years ago when I was in college, I was driving on the eastbound 60 freeway heading to my job at the mall. I was running late…so late that I needed to get gas, but didn’t have the time to stop and fuel up. I thought I had just enough to get me to get me there.
I was about 5 miles away when I felt the car give out and had to coast over to the side of the highway to get out of traffic.
Unfortunately for me, I had been driving in the fast lane, and so had to pull to the center of the highway, making it pretty much impossible to cross over the four lanes of traffic to get off the freeway and get help. I decided to try anyway. I got out of the car and began walking, hoping for a break in traffic big enough so I could get across the road.
I’d been walking for about a ½ mile when this low rider coupe pulled up ahead of me and stopped. In it were 2 young Latino guys, and the driver got out. He asked me if I needed some help and I explained that I’d run out of gas, and was just trying to get to a station and back to my car and to work. He offered to give me a ride…and I remember this flash…this feeling that this wasn’t smart; but I pushed it down because all I could think of was not being late for work. I thanked him, and headed for the car. The driver pulled his seat up so I could get in the back (again, that flash-and again, I ignored it) and just as I put one leg in the door and was about to sit down, another car pulled up on the westbound side of the freeway and the driver opened her car door and started yelling, “Hey! Hey! I know your mother! Come on with me, I’ll get you help! Come on!” I stood there for a second…long enough to see this weird, knowing look pass between the two guys, and then I got out of their car, thanked them for stopping and went and got in the car with the woman on the other side of the freeway.
As soon as I got in the car, she let me have it. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING? You NEVER get in the car with strange men? I know your mother taught you better than that! I can’t believe you…I was traveling on the eastbound side of the freeway and when I saw you I knew I needed to get off this freeway and double back to get you! Never do that again!”
This woman did not know my mother. She was an absolute stranger to me. She was in the car with her young daughter and her mom, and she was as good as her word and got me to a gas station and back to my car.
I think about how many things had to go just right for her to be there at that crucial moment. What time she left her previous location, the timing of the traffic lights, the number of cars on the street and on the freeway, her ability to make those lane changes to get her over to me…the list goes on and on. I’ve certainly thought about what may have happened if she’d decided not to listen to that still, small voice that told her to come back and get me.
It still takes my breath away.
I think about my 14-year old niece and how I would skin her alive if she ever even thought of doing anything like this, and there I was, actively putting myself in a bad situation. Oh, the mistakes you can make when you let fear and desperation influence your decision making.
No one can tell me that God doesn’t have my back. He did this. And from the depth of my being, I thank Him for this woman, whoever she is. She quite possibly saved my life.