“If I hadn’t had to iron another shirt after you spilled your coffee, we wouldn’t be running late, so don’t blame me. Try taking a little of the responsibility for what is your fault.”
“Fine, it’s my fault, okay! Now are you happy? Man, this road is slick. I think there’s a lot of black ice out here.”
“Maybe we should take the long way to church, avoid that hill…”
“No, I can handle it. I just have to take it slower."
The snow sparkled like diamonds from the ice. The trees were absolutely beautiful, every surface glittered with a fine sheen, even the barbed wire fence along the road was reflecting the beauty. I wish I had my camera with me, this was picture perfect, it could be on a magazine cover.
I turned towards the back seat, “Honey, did you remember to fasten your seat belt?”
“Yes, mom, if it was any tighter I couldn’t breathe. Chill, mom, we’re okay.”
Rob turned left; the big hill was coming up. I didn’t like that hill, even when the roads were good. It wasn’t just how steep it was, it was the curve half way down.
There were huge snow banks on either side of the road from the snowplows having come through the day before. We’d had a pretty good snowfall; eight inches in 24 hours, not record breaking for this part of the country, but still a lot.
Suddenly the car was sliding. We were heading right for the snow bank. “Oh, Lord, please…” the car jerked. It slammed into the snow throwing me forward then back against the seat. We came to a complete stop.
We sat there for several seconds, breathing hard, somewhat shell shocked.
When I was finally able to open my eyes I snapped them shut again, panic setting in. Slowly I opened them again. “Rob, there isn’t anything in front of us.”
Slowly I turned my head. The fence and the snow bank were right at my car door. We had gone through them. Looking ahead again I realized we might actually be hanging over the edge of the hill. I wondered where the front wheels were.
“Brian, are you okay?”
“Yeah, Dad, I think so.”
“Okay, you need to move very slowly. Take off your seat belt and open your door. Then I want you to get out and move away from the car.”
“Do as I say! Now!”
After Brian got out, Rob turned to me. “Can you open your door?”
“I think so, enough to get out, at least.”
“Okay, do it very slowly, no sudden movements, okay?”
“I love you, now go.”
“I love you, too, I’m sorry about my attitude.”
“I know, I am too.”
Slowly I opened my door. It seemed we had slid at enough of an angle that there was room for my door to open. I got out and skittered on the ice as I made my way to the road.
It was a couple more minutes, then, slowly Rob opened his door and cautiously made his way to join us. We looked at the car. It was literally hanging over the edge of the hill. We looked down. Straight down. At the bottom of the hill was a farm pond. Had the car gone even one inch farther I’m sure we would have landed face down in it. I carefully walked to where I could see the front of the car. I totally expected to see a giant hand print on the hood where God had put his hand out to stop us.
We stood there about twenty minutes, wondering what to do. The farmer from the bottom of the hill drove up on his tractor and pulled us back. We looked at the tracks in the snow, our front wheels had just barely been on the ground.
Slowly we got back in the car and made our way to church.
When we walked in the door the congregation was singing. Rob gave my hand a squeeze as we joined in.
“I was sinking, deep in sin
Far from the peaceful shore
Very deeply, stained within
Sinking to rise no more
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry
From the waters, lifted me
Now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me.”
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