Monday, May 04, 2009

How to Have Your Crow and Eat it, Too: Part 2

The drizzle continued, and my hazard lights were still on, but after a half hour, no one had stopped. A cop car had passed without so much as slowing down. I got out, propped up the hood and opened the gas tank door to show I was having engine trouble. Got back in and began to pray once more, asking God for wisdom.

"Lord, I know You hear me, I do. Even though humans don't seem to care a bit, I know You do. Would You be so kind as to give me a sign that You are here with me?"

I kid you not, when I checked my rearview mirror, I saw a crow fly down onto the side of the road, close to the van. Like Elijah's raven! It's my Baltimore raven--er, crow. I didn't need food, Lord, but I needed assurance, and You've done that for me. I smiled at God's kindness. The bird took off and I began planning something besides waiting for help.

Another cop car passed but didn't slow down. I was too afraid to stand on the edge of a busy highway. I've heard of too many pedestrian accidents. In the next hour, off and on, I would start to wonder if Paul or the kids had been notified that I hadn't shown up for work, and were they worried? Did Paul get a call? Was anyone out looking for me? I would have been out looking for any of them had they not reported to work as scheduled. Self-pity and a slight bit of anger gripped me, but when I was rational, I realized it hadn't been all that long.

Cars continued to zoom on by, including a third cop car. No help. On and off for an hour, however, that plain, black crow alighted on the road behind me. Even in my sin, God is reassuring me of His love. At 2:37 I decided to walk. I took a dirty, white art smock from my trunk and tied it to the side mirror. Then, I took off my brand new silver wedges, grabbed an umbrella and my purse, locked the van, and dashed across the highway. I put my shoes back on and trudged in the damp and somewhat muddy grassy area between jersey walls. I felt totally at peace most of the time when I was thanking God for cool air, that this was 2:30 p.m. not a.m., that I wasn't lost, that my destination was only a half mile away or so, and that I had started getting in shape a month ago so that I was up to the task. But when my mind went to thoughts like, "I hope nobody recognizes me, I hope I don't twist my ankle, I probably look kooky in semi-professional clothes carrying an umbrella, walking between jersey walls,' that's when I felt my heart race.

God, would you send an old couple along, someone I could outrun if I had to? I don't want a
capable young or strong man to offer help. But I would love a ride. A short time later I heard honking from what sounded like a big ole Chevy car. I turned around. A big ole car (Chevy, I'll never know) stopped, but it was headed the opposite direction. I kept walking. Two minutes later it was back, going my way. They pulled over. It was a couple about 80 years old. I didn't get any closer to them; I stayed right where I was, panting from my brisk walk.

"Do you need help?" the old man asked, his wife next to him.

And what did I say? "No, thanks. I ran out of gas, but the station's right up there."

"You sure?"

"I'm sure. Thanks."

So they drove away and I approached the hectic, dangerous intersection on foot. It was the
independent streak in me, the fool. Even after asking God for an old couple who stopped not once but twice for me, I didn't want to bother them to take me all the way home, but honestly had no intention of buying a gas can, filling it up, and carrying it back to the van. I only hoped to find a pay phone still in existence so I wouldn't have to ask someone for a cell. My only thought was getting through to Sarah to ask her to pick up Joel and maybe come bail me out.


Laurie Lynn said...

Okay! Now I'm farther out on the edge of my seat!

Kelly said...

Next time, take the old couple! If not available, CALL KELLY! Best yet, no 'next time'! Goofy girl...