Many years ago, when I was working for that armored truck company I told you about, I had to be to work at five in the morning. I was an hour away from my job, so I was on the road pretty early. On one of those early mornings–sometime in late winter or early spring–I had an interesting encounter with…..well, let me tell you about it.
I used to take a backroad to the state route that took me into the “big city” where I worked. I was tootin’ down that backroad that morning, cruisin’ it somewhere between 55-60 mph. It had been raining all night and was at that point a cold drizzle. As my headlights illuminated the road in front of me, I could see some odd movement in the road ahead. Since it was dark out and everything was wet, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. But something was definitely there!
As I peered through my windshield and the drizzle outside, something tall and large moving in the middle of the road began to materialize out of the dark mist and drizzle about fifty yards in front of me. I was stunned to realize that what I was looking at was a human dressed in an olive-green rain suit running down the middle of the road in the same direction I was going! Just as stunning was the realization that if I didn’t act swiftly, I would likely be hitting this person dead-on with the grill of my car!
I remember all of this in extreme slow motion (the usual mental reaction in a stressful situation), although it all happened within a time period of about twenty seconds. I hit the brakes and narrowly missed hitting him as I flew passed him on the road. (I screeched passed him on his right side. He later told me that the car was so close to him as it passed that he could feel the air movement of the rear bumper as it passed inches away from his right calf.) When I hit the brakes, I started to fish-tail to the left (another reason he felt the bumper so close to his right calf). It also caused me to drift left across the center line into the on-coming lane once I had passed him (by God’s protective hand, no one was in that lane at the time). Just as I began to get the car under control and thought “this may be all there is to this little episode”, I found out why this guy was running down the center of the road. Just as I was gaining control of the car, I saw in my headlights two head of cattle trotting down the shoulder of the oncoming lane in the same direction I was going! And that’s when the driver’s side of my car smacked into one of them, sending me into a slow, wet one-hundred-eighty-degree spin.
As I was slowly spinning, I saw I was heading for someone’s front yard and a telephone pole, complete with a guide-wire angling down and into the ground beside it. (Hasn’t this been harrowing enough? What’s going to happen next? It’s like a movie plot unfolding or something.) Since it had been raining so much, the dirt shoulder of the road was now a muddy mess, so I slid easily across the dirt shoulder and onto the grass of the front yard. (If it hadn’t been raining like it had and that had been a hard shoulder, I fully believe that would have caused my car to begin flipping as it hit the shoulder and the grass of the front yard.) It is at this point that it occurred to me that this car was an older convertible. If I were to flip, I would have no protection whatsoever. So as I’m literally along for the ride and am continuing to watch this all unfold, this was also the point that I decided we would never own another convertible again.
As I slid into the yard and the pole and guide-wire got closer, it began to be clearly evident that the car was going to just miss the pole and come to rest against the guide-wire just behind the passenger door. It was just as if God had instructed my guardian angels to nestle that car right into that spot. I sat there, staring at the telephone pole that was less than a foot in front of the passenger-side headlight. The man I almost hit ran up to my car door to check on me. Turns out that this was his front yard! We were both pretty shaken up and extremely thankful that no one was hurt. I got the impression later, however, that the cow that I hit may have been hurt pretty bad. Never was able to find out….
God really came through that morning! Just one more experience on this journey with Him that confirms His faithfulness to me and my family.