Psalm 91:11-12 – For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. (NRSV)
Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (NRSV)
After our Ash Wednesday Service in mid-February, I headed home rather late, driving across the city on Cambridge Street. There is only one stoplight, where Southbridge Street crosses Cambridge. The road broadens here, so there are four lanes for traffic, which travels on the right-hand side of the road in North America. Because I was going straight through, I needed to be in the left-hand lane on my side, leaving the right-hand lane for those turning right onto Southbridge St.
The light turned against me as I came up to it, so I slowed to a complete stop. Then it happened. I watched as an unbelievably large tractor-trailer approached from my right on Southbridge and turned left onto Cambridge, coming towards me. It was literally the biggest one that I had ever seen. The cab went up on the sidewalk to my left, almost hitting the building on that corner, as the driver tried to make it around. Then it dawned on me that my car was in the way of the back wheels of the trailer, and I was going to be hit.
Before I could do anything about it, I suddenly experienced the feeling of going into "another reality" where I could see and hear but not move. It was almost as if I had been anaesthetized. During the few seconds this lasted, I realized that the car's steering wheel was being powerfully rotated to the right within the loose grasp of my fingers, although my hands weren't moving at all. It was the oddest experience to feel it spinning around, knowing that I wasn't doing it! Then the "mysterious moment" was over, and I took my foot off the brake. Immediately, without my touching the accelerator, the car literally jumped to the right and made the sharpest right-hand turn it possibly could. It was as if unseen hands had picked up the car, rotated it 90 degrees and then put it down. The turn to the right was such an abrupt one that, for a moment, I wondered if the car would tip over, as it rocked back and forth. As I took control again, in order for me to steer around the back of the trailer, I realized that the steering wheel had been turned just as hard and as far to the right as it could have been. I also realized that part of the miracle was that there was no car to my right. That had been taken care of also! I had some wonderful help that night. It was angel action, I'm sure, that saved me from a miserable accident.
God has given us the wonderful gift of angels who do not sleep, but who are with us when we need it the very most. How grateful we are for this promise made real, that God holds each one of us close, for we are His creation.
Prayer: Holy God, we are all wrapped in your cloak of caring. Make us all more open to these wonderful miracles during the ordinary living of our days. Open our eyes to see them, and may they lead us to a deeper faith. In Christ's name. Amen.