My father tried his best to live alone in Millington after he graduated from boot camp. His plan was to complete school, then send for us to live with him on base. While he was there, my mother and I would stay with my great grandparents in CA. There was one big problem with their plan; they couldn’t bear to be apart.
They had been sweethearts from the tender age of fourteen. This was the first time that they had ever been apart for so long. After many tears and prayers, they decided that dad would return to California, and we would make the journey to our first home together. They were very young with little money. This trip would test their faith and bless them for many years to come.
My parents never questioned their belief that their Heavenly Father wanted their family to be together at this time. They packed their car, with the happy little red headed baby girl that I was and made their way cross-country from San Diego to Millington, Tennessee.
As I remember the story related to me, I am filled with love for my young parents. They had been taught well by Christian grandparents who loved their Savior, to help others, and to be prayerful in life. My parents had wonderful examples of Christ like love, and would have helped anyone in need. They hadn’t expected the necessity of other loving people along their journey to help them. That is exactly what happened.
We were part way to our destination when the car broke down. Our car died in a very small town, on the darkest, loneliest two-lane road, in the middle of nowhere. It was frightening to hear the grinding of metal on metal and hissing coming from the engine.
“How in the world are we going to fix this?” my dad worried out loud.
“How can we ever cover the cost of the parts and labor?” my mother echoed her own concerns. Their most immediate worry was if they could stay in the car on such a cold dark night with the baby. They immediately held hands and bowed their heads in prayer.
It is amazing how a prayer sent to the Father in heaven can be heard so quickly and with such life long impact.
Almost as soon as my parents had bowed their heads, help was on the way.
A man in a tow truck, heading home for dinner from a long day at work, saw the pale salmon colored car broken down on the side of the road. A still small voice urged him to pull over and check on the people inside. Without question, he followed his prompting. What a blessing for my parents after closing in prayer to see this kind person in a tow truck. Relief was all encompassing for these young parents when the man climbed out of the truck walked up to their car, and asked, “Do you folks need help?”
My father jumped out and reached for the man’s hand. “Yes sir, we do!” he nodded.
“Why don’t I just hook you up and tow you to my garage? We can take a better look under the hood.” he offered.
“Well, sir, I just don’t know…I’m trying to get my family to the base, and we’re pretty strapped for cash right now. How much do you charge for your services?” My dad’s voice could not hide his worry.
“Well son, we can work that out as we go, but I think that the first thing we need to do is to get your family out of the cold right away, don’t you think?” The man nodded towards my mother and me.
“Yes sir,” my father replied, “that’s exactly what we have just been praying for. I think that’s a good idea, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble that is.”
“Well, I was just on my way home to my wife and kids. My wife would never forgive me if I didn’t bring you all home where you’ll be warm and safe with that cute little baby girl and sweet wife of yours.”
By then my mother had stepped out of the car with me in her arms. My parents looked at each other and decided as soon as their eyes met, that it would be safe to go with the gentleman, and take him up on his hospitality. Back in the 60’s people were very trusting and open to helping each other.
My mother gathered me in her arms and all of us climbed into the truck. We were on our way. My parents later told me that they were sending silent prayers of gratitude to the heavens during that ride.
When we arrived at his family’s home, my parents were amazed at the welcome they received. It was as if the whole family had been planning for us to come to dinner for a week. My dad counted six children, ranging in ages three to seventeen. His wife was kind, gracious, and comforting to our little family. She insisted on setting a place for each of us at her table.
After we were seated, the father asked everyone to please bow thier heads for a word of prayer. The silence, and reverence, was tangible. My parents looked across the table at each other, their eyes filling with astonishment. After the prayer, the large group said a heartfelt amen. The flurry of people passing dishes, and children telling their parents about their day, school, and friends, filled the room with family togetherness.
After dinner, our mechanic took my dad to his garage, and they worked together on the car until the wee hours of the morning. He would accept no compensation for his labor, and his wife had insisted on providing us with a warm bed and a delicious breakfast. She also packed us a box of food for the road. My young parents were astounded once again at how prayers could be answered so thoroughly.
Later, when we were back on the road, my mother commented to my father that she would never forget the spiritual feeling that permeated the home of our ‘Good Samaritans’. The joy that she felt from each child as they shared their day’s happenings was infectious. It was also a tribute to their parents and the love they had for each child. She wanted that same joy in her home too and determined from that day forth to do the same.
“I knew that we were in the right place, at the right time, when I looked up from our prayer, to see a picture of Christ with his arms held out to us,” my father marveled. “I felt so much peace and love in that one single moment, that I knew in my heart we would get to our new home safely.”
Wow, what a surprise to find you here, Val! Thank you for commenting on my "Silent Stars" story. I just had to check your member page to return the favor and found this wonderful story I missed before. Oh, the channels of blessing from the Lord that open and flood our hearts and lives when we look to Him in prayer! Thank you, friend!
Such a beautiful piece. Amazing! I love this one! Thank you for sharing such a tocuhing piece. How great is our God who works things out and brings the right people in our lives at the times we need them most. God bless and thank you for yur fdbk on my entry. Keep up the wonderful writing.
This is the most heartwarming story I have read in my life!
Thank you for writing it so beautifully.What a lovely answer to prayer! Jesus loves us all so much.He listens to all our prayers,and answers them too.What a wonderful Saviour we have! Love,Miriam.