Exercise had become an important part of my day. I had measured out a three mile walk, a route that passed a shopping center. The sidewalk was adjacent to the curb…no grassy area in between. I had learned to be very aware of all action going on around me as I progressed…being watchful of cars turning into the shopping center.
A man jogged past. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car signaling to turn at the next intersection. I noticed the man seemed oblivious to the traffic. They would get to the intersection at the same time. All of this was observed in a split second. Abruptly, I stood still as I watched the man step off the curb and continue jogging as the turning car slammed on its brakes.
A chain reaction ensued, with each successive car slamming on its brakes. In a matter of seconds, the screeching of brakes was beside me. As I quickly turned to see what was occurring only a few feet away, the big, old boat of a car at my side turned sideways in the road and headed straight for me.
I jumped up and back…clear off the sidewalk and into the low evergreen bushes that lined it. The car stopped with its front tires on the very spot where I had been a second before.
A teenage girl jumped from the car in hysterics…thinking she had hit me. As I stood up, I knew I would have a bruised “rear”. The bushes had scratched me and I was stinging in many places, but I assured her that I was ok. She explained her brakes had locked. Through her tears, she repeatedly apologized.
I glanced down the street. The jogger had finally stopped to see what all the commotion was…and came jogging back. Very abruptly he said to the girl, “Get in the car and get it turned around and out of there before someone calls the police. You’re blocking traffic.”
“No way. I’m not driving that thing again”.
After a brief discussion in which he decided she was not going to move it, he started to climb in the car and said to me, “You stop traffic, so I can back off the sidewalk”.
“Me! I was already shaking. Walk out in traffic? But I did. Luckily the cars stopped.
He drove the car around the corner and into the parking lot of the shopping center. After a warning to be more careful…he jogged off. He had never acknowledged that he was the cause of this whole mess.
So I stood face to face with a girl who was shaking far worse than I. Her name was Bonnie. I asked her if she would like to come to my house and warm up. She could have a cup of tea or chocolate.
Her response. “I’m not driving.”
I climbed in the driver’s seat, took the back roads, and drove us home. As soon as we were in the car, she asked me, “Do you believe in God?”
“As a matter of fact, I do.”
Her next question caught me off guard. “Do you believe God answers prayer in strange ways?”
I asked her to explain her question.
She had been driving down that street praying that God would send her somebody who believed in Him and could help her pray about a certain situation. I had to laugh.
“I’m not sure God goes to such extremes, but your prayer was answered. What’s the problem?”
So we sat in my house, in a quiet room, and talked. I do not believe our meeting was an accident. Her situation was very similar to one which I had experienced, so I understood what she was going through.
I kept in touch with Bonnie for many months, and watched a steady growth in her search for God. And I had been what I feel my purpose on earth is…a channel for God to use to reach someone for Him.