The day before Mother’s day, God put it on my heart to buy a new video cassette recorder. I know this dates me because no one has one now, but never the less…
Our old one wasn’t reliable, and so I had hooked it up to our old TV in the basement, where it had been for a whole year. When the kids would have their friends over, they’d sometimes watch movies down there, but since I’ve always wanted the best for my kids, I knew that someday I’d fork over 200 dollars and buy a new VCR. OK, so like I said, the day before Mother’s day I went out to buy a new one, ‘cause, to be quite honest, I felt like God said, “Today is the day.” The timing of this is what leads into this next God story.
So, as I was bringing the VCR back to my van, I realized I needed to run a few more errands, and thought I should hide it so no one would break in and steal it. Since the passenger window was tinted, I decided to put it on the floor in front of the seat where it would be least visible. I know, weird huh? However, it wouldn’t go. I tried and tried but finally realized that the seat was too far up. So, I slid the seat as far back as it would go, and finally, the box fit on the floor in front of it.
I remember thinking that this was the first time the seat had ever been moved backwards. I guess I hadn’t given anyone tall a ride in a while. But after thinking about it, I determined this was a good thing because I’m short (5’ 1”), and I’d heard that if you’re short, you should make your seat be as far away from the dashboard as possible so you won’t get your head chopped off if you are in an accident and the airbag deploys.
So anyway, I got home after my errands, unloaded the van and the VCR, and had an uneventful Saturday. Sunday afternoon, Charlie asked me to drive him over to his friend’s house so he could watch the NHL playoffs with his friends. I thought his timing stunk, because I had just heated up a bowl of spaghetti in the microwave, so I told him we could go after lunch. No… he wanted to get there before the game started, so he said I could just take my food with me, and he’d drive while I ate.
OK- so we get into the van, and after a few minutes, we’re driving down the main drag of Ann Arbor. Up ahead, the light is green, and Charlie’s doing 35mph, and there’s an old man up ahead, walking with a cane, very slowly, against the light, in the cross walk. “Slow down, Dude. That old man’s in the cross walk.”
“Well, he’s not supposed to be there. Besides, the light’s green for us.”
“Well, he is there. Slow down, or you’ll hit him.” So, Charlie braked, and slowed down, and just as we drove into the intersection, “BAM!!!!”
“Are you alive, Mom?”
“Yes, Dude, are you?” It was a dumb question, being as how he’d talked to me first.
Some kid in a silver mustang had run the red light, causing us to crash into the left rear of his car so hard that he spun around and ended up spinning though the crosswalk on our left, right where the old man was walking. The airbags deployed, but since my seat was waaay back, I was ok. I did however have a bloody nose because my plate of spaghetti broke, and cut open my face, but at least that was the extent of my injuries.
The kid jumped out of his car and came running over to my side of the car. He saw blood gushing out of my nose with every beat of my heart, and kept saying, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize the light was red. Are you all right? Oh, I’m so sorry.” I saw that the kid was Ok, and Charlie was Ok, but the old man…. “Dude, the old man. The old man -is he OK?”
“Call 911- my mom’s hurt. Call 911.” Charlie was yelling to this crowd of people at the crosswalk, who were just standing there, stunned, frozen in time. The accident actually occurred in front of the police station, and I remember thinking I was gonna get a ticket because I forgot to renew my license plate tag. Charlie looked around for the old man. He was no where to be found. I figured the kid’s car must have hit him, and flung him way off into the distance. Charlie asked the gawkers what happened to the old man? The crowd of people wondered what he was talking about. There wasn’t an old man. “Yes- yes- he was walking against the light- he had a cane. Did the kid’s mustang hit him? Where is he?” Again, the people flat out denied his existence.
Then, an ambulance pulled up. Since I had injuries, the medics attended to me. I remember saying over and over as they put the neck brace around my neck, and loaded me into the ambulance, “Praise You, Lord. Thank You, Jesus.” The medics told me they’d never heard anyone thanking God for a car accident, but I told them I was thanking Him that we were all alive. Thanking Him that my seat was way far back, thanking Him that He had me buy the VCR the day before, thanking Him that Charlie was alive, and thanking Him that we didn’t kill the kid in the mustang.
But the old man? Was he an angel? If he hadn’t have been in the crosswalk, we would have entered the intersection a split second earlier, and the kid would have either hit my door and killed me or we would have hit his door and maybe killed him. But because we had to deliberately slow down to avoid hitting the old man, we hit the far back left side of the mustang, and no one sustained serious injuries.
Now I know a lot of people like to play the “what if” and “coincidence” games, but I believe God often prepares us for a miracle, days, if not months or years in advance. So thank you Jesus for a new VCR and for your angel in the crosswalk!