It’s late. She’s driving. She’s on her way home. There’s something in the road. She hits it. She swerves. She loses control of the car.
A loud crash. A bounce. She’s going downhill. She’s rolling. Her car is really rolling.
And in this moment, she’s thinking, “I wish I could tell my children I love them.”
Funny. In critical moments, nobody says to themselves: “I wish I had better retirement options.”
She’s tumbling down an embankment toward an icy river, thinking simple things.
Like the day she slid a ring onto her husband’s finger and promised to love him until death.
She thinks about holding her newborn daughter. The same daughter who was born with an extra digit on her left hand. A “supernumerary finger” doctors called it.
She thinks about how she nicknamed her daugher “Six.” And how the name stuck, even after surgeons removed the appendage.
She remembers her son. And Little League games. And the day after school, when he told her that he’d found hair in his armpits.
One second. That’s all it takes. One second to relive her entire life.
How strange. Only a minutes ago, her life felt permanent. And now, it’s too damned short.
Her car hits water. She is upside down, dangling. Blood in her eyes. She is too beat-up to even cry. She is falling in and out of sleep.
The water is above her head. Then it’s touching her hair. Then her forehead. Then her eyebrows. Her nose.
In her stupor she manages to say one word before she’s submerged. It’s a word which, despite what some claim, has nothing to do with politics, war, or religion.
She swallows a lot of water. The world goes black.
Sharp sickness in her gut. It is overwhelming. A burning in her lungs. A headache which feels like she’s had an argument with a hammer.
“I’m alive,” she’s thinking.
Her eyes open. She coughs up foul-tasting river water.
She sees him. He is big. Black. Broad shoulders, thick hands. He is using his palms to press on her sternum.
“Stay with me,” he’s shouting.
She trusts him. There is something about his face. She wants to fall asleep, but he won’t let her.
“Stay with me!” he says.
The next thing she knows, she’s over his shoulder. She can see his feet. He isn’t wearing any shoes—she remembers this. Barefoot.
He carries her uphill. She catches a glimpse of her crumbled vehicle, sinking into the river. She can hardly believe it.
He places her on the pavement, leans her against a guardrail.
“Don’t close your eyes,” he says. “Stay with me.”
She sees blue lights, flashing. He tells her it’s going to be okay. He touches her face.
She remembers a lot from that night. She remembers the EMTs. She remembers a bumpy ambulance ride. She even remembers the anesthesia before surgery.
She remembers asking emergency workers about the man who saved her.
“Man?” one deputy answered. “It was MY patrol car that found you, ma’am. We found you all alone.”
“No,” she insisted. “There was a man who… Who saved me.”
The deputies only looked at each other. “No ma’am,” they said. “We didn’t see any cars on the road but yours.”
I know sometimes you think you’re alone in this world.
Michael K. Doyle - January 5, 2018 12:52 pm
Amazing… We are definitely not along… If we are not appointed unto death… Great story.
Penn Wells - January 5, 2018 12:56 pm
No, man, we’re not alone….we’ve got You. (Go Dawgs).
Sandra Smith - January 5, 2018 1:08 pm
I got proof the day I was within a second of being carjacked. Seeing patient’s, in a rough part of town, I saw them…knew they’d put a target on me. Saw them come up behind me, throw their old truck into park, as the driver went to get out, his passenger, stopped him. They both were eyeing something behind them, and then, threw the truck in gear, and sped around and past me.
Out of nowhere, is a police car, speeding up behind them, and as it passes by me, I look…THERE WAS NO ONE DRIVING THAT CAR !!!
Martha Tubb - January 5, 2018 1:15 pm
Beautifully written !!
Linda - January 5, 2018 1:17 pm
Angels among us – always.
Doing genealogy has become a habit of mine. I discovered that a great aunt’s grave was about two hours from where I live.( she was 20 , newly married and died in a kitchen fire in 1906 ) I went to pay my respects and could not find her grave. A stranger tried to help me but we walked and walked and could not find her. He called over two men who were mowing in the cemetery and one of them found her headstone – face down. ( I had a picture of it upright from a geneological site but had never been to this cemetery before )
I asked what happens when a headstone falls over- The man told me it was the family’s responsibility. Before I could ask the cost – he told me, a little embarrassed, that he owned both the cemeteries in town and he instructed the men to put it on their schedule to put it upright again at no cost to me.
The man asked for all of my info and said he would take a picture and send it to me… I never heard from him. A year later I was nearby and went to see her grave again
It was fully upright .
I wrote to the cemetery and asked for his name so I could thank him and they told me that both cemeteries are owned by a corporation and there is no record of a single owner…..
Who was he and the two men who helped me ?
Tammy Moody - January 6, 2018 3:46 am
Bless you for sharing this Linda!
Dianne - January 5, 2018 1:27 pm
Once again, another story that proves that our God is always with us no matter what our circumstance.
Jan - January 5, 2018 1:30 pm
Oh wow! What a way to start my day! “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC WILL NEVER FIND IT.” Roald Dahl
Jan - January 5, 2018 1:33 pm
By the way, instead of magic … I believe our God is always there. It is hard to see His hand at work unless you open your eyes!
Snoopy - January 5, 2018 1:34 pm
She will meet her special angel one day! God’s grace is sufficient and He is an on time God!!??
Sandra Marrar - January 5, 2018 1:34 pm
Wow! God is good!
ken Somerset - January 5, 2018 1:40 pm
Yes we do have guardian Angles appointed to us . I cannot count the times mine had to call in reserves when i was younger and dumber. Yes it is the Lord in control.
Susan Hammett Poole - January 5, 2018 1:39 pm
Powerful and Real. W*O*W.
Sara Shaver - January 5, 2018 1:43 pm
Beth Andrews - January 5, 2018 1:53 pm
Throughout human history He came in many forms: a cloud, an angel, a baby, a man – I believe He still comes in many shapes, sizes, genders, and skin tones. Sometimes in sandals or heels or tennis shoes and even with bare feet. He comes because He is Immanuel – God With us.
Debbie Robinson - January 5, 2018 2:04 pm
Amen, Amen and Amen!!!
Sue Crinkite - January 5, 2018 2:10 pm
Best one yet!
Candace Bradford - January 5, 2018 2:12 pm
Really GOOD ONE Sean…
Carol - January 5, 2018 2:13 pm
What a wonderful story. Time and time again people tell of being rescued by someone that no one else sees. How can people believe that there is no God?
William kapas - January 5, 2018 2:22 pm
Everyone needs a strong man in their life this month I found that in my daughter love you Ambre
Toni Tucker Locke - January 5, 2018 2:24 pm
Driving home late from a college class one night I prayed for a sign from God that I was not alone in the total darkness that surrounded me on the highway. Soon I viewed a set of headlights in my rear-view mirror and I was put at peace. Finally, coming into an intersection near the lights of my neighborhood, I watched to see where the angel behind me would turn. There was no car there. God is good–all the time.
Margarita - January 5, 2018 2:27 pm
M - January 5, 2018 2:30 pm
Thank you. Your thoughts/writing gives me much to think about each day. I’m grateful for the time you take to share your stories with us.
Afi Scruggs - January 5, 2018 2:32 pm
Wow! This is a keeper. I’m going to print it out and frame it to remind myself when times get tough.
Carlin Brooks - January 5, 2018 3:53 pm
You just keep getting better and better. Peace.
Kathy Daum - January 5, 2018 2:32 pm
Judy - January 5, 2018 2:34 pm
Wow. Just …. wow. Love your story and the stories in the comments.
Brian Heinz - January 5, 2018 2:57 pm
So often we are so tied into our lives that we can’t see the Lord standing right in front of us whether anyone else can see him or not.You never feel so alive till you come so close to death. God has a plan.
Linda - January 5, 2018 3:14 pm
Wow, that gives me chill bumps. He was an angel sent by God, of course. God heard her speak His name, and he answered by sending an angel. Thank you Sean for sharing.
Annie - January 5, 2018 3:19 pm
Love this and love to be reminded. Awesome!
muthahun - January 5, 2018 3:30 pm
…more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Alan Brock - January 5, 2018 3:40 pm
ponder304 - January 5, 2018 3:43 pm
Angels around us! Wow!!!!
Linda H - January 5, 2018 3:46 pm
Just ANOTHER reason why I seek out your writing each and every day. Powerful. Thank you!
Ava - January 5, 2018 3:48 pm
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Heb 13:2
Summer Hartzog - January 5, 2018 3:48 pm
Yes. God is not about war, politics or religion and His love for us doesn’t depend on our belief in Him or perfect obedience to Him. Thank you for a beautiful reminder.
Jo - January 5, 2018 3:51 pm
It is amazing how many stories there are of mysterious strangers who save the day and then vanish. It is impossible not to believe.
Ann Bodiford - January 5, 2018 4:06 pm
Frances Floyd - January 5, 2018 4:15 pm
Your writing is a blessing to me. Thanks!
Jack Darnell - January 5, 2018 4:31 pm
Great read. The mysteries of life!……………….. thanks.
Amy - January 5, 2018 4:47 pm
Stay with … me.
He wants only that, in the best of times and in the worst. He’ll do the rest.
Thank you, Mr. Dietrich.
Catherine - January 5, 2018 5:08 pm
I can only think…..What a say that will be when my Saviour I Shall see! What a glorious day!
Susie - January 5, 2018 5:26 pm
Again, you make me want to cry, yet I look forward to your posts more and more each day. Beautiful story!
Janet Mary Lee - January 5, 2018 6:41 pm
Precious.. and truth! Thank you again, Sean. Many Blessings!
Pamela McEachern - January 5, 2018 7:19 pm
At some of my lowest times God put an Angel in my life, I can not explain it. There is just not another explaination that makes any sense, and I am eternally grateful. Beautiful story of our Father’s love for us. Thank you
Peace and Love from Birmingham
Susan Shellnutt - March 25, 2018 3:23 pm
Blessings to you Pam, love and forgiveness are essential ingredients of peace and the path to Jesus ❤
Lynda Gayle Knight - January 5, 2018 7:48 pm
Another keeper! When I think you you can’t get better, you do. Truth has never been truer than when it comes from God. Omnipresent and omniscient are two words which are he!
Barbara Schweck - January 6, 2018 2:48 am
Nancy Bryan - January 6, 2018 6:35 am
Many years ago, I was coming home from catering a party late at night. I had two passengers that were my help. We were on a two lane highway that was dark and the rain was pouring down. We were sideswiped by another car coming towards us. I lost control of the car and we went down a slope off the road. After a good while, my lights going out, the horn quits working and my feet being stuck. I said a prayer to God asking for his help. In a few seconds, my feet became unstuck. I was stunned!!! I was finally able to get the car door open. That was when I discovered we were upside down! I walked all over the underneath of my car waving my umbrella and calling for help every time a car or a truck came by. This was before everyone had cell phones. Finally a car came by and stopped. The man told me that he and his sons were on the way to a hospital to see his father-in-law who was dying. His children had seen my car lights and had finally convinced him that they had to turn around and see if someone had had a wreck. He had told them it was a power company working on the power line. They cried and said NO!!! They pleaded with him and had told him that if it was their Mother they would hope someone would turn around. When they stopped, it looked like Grand Central Station! A whole lot of people stopped. Help went down and helped me get my help out. I asked where the man and his children were. No one remembered seeing the man and his children. My husband said I could not walk all over the bottom of my car. I told him maybe you couldn’t but I did that night and the man and his children were there! For along time, O wouldn’t tell this story for fear people would think I was loony!
Donia - January 6, 2018 2:42 pm
What a miracle for this woman! I feel certain that her saying “God” was about Faith and Belief in God, not in a ‘religion.’ She called out to the one true God, He heard, and He sent an angel to save her. Keep writing!
Lucretia Jones - January 7, 2018 6:26 am
Thank you, Sean. Thank you.
Mary Anne - January 9, 2018 1:14 am
Sean, thank you for sharing this story and thanks to your readers who shared their stories as well. Angels are definitely all around us. I believe in Guardian Angels and it comforts me. Peace. Happy New Year.
Annette H. Bailey - March 25, 2018 8:16 am
“…..all you have to do is call on ME and I am there.” She did say “God”. When we are scared and feel all alone…….. (Good one Sean) ?
Tammy - March 25, 2018 11:17 am
While mailing Christmas presents at the post office with my 3 yr old son, I looked down to notice he was turning blue, choking on the candy he had been just been given by the postal clerk. The next second a huge man in military uniform (we were stationed in Germany at the time) picked up my son, thumped him on the back, making him swallow the candy and begin crying. I picked up my son to comfort him, then turned to thank the man and he was no where to be found!
Linda - March 25, 2018 9:56 pm
Angels among us ….
Nancy - March 25, 2018 11:49 pm
I spent a year in Ft Worth with my son while my ex was in Thailand. I was driving a Toyota with power issues. I decided to trade it in. They were going to keep my car and gave me a big, 8-cylinder zoom mobile overnight. The next morning, I started to work on a foggy day. I had to turn right and go up and over some railroad tracks. I looked up and saw a train so close all I could see was the grill. I floored it and got out of the way just in time. Had I been driving my wimpy little car, I would have died. The car dealer called me that day and said I couldn’t get the loan for a new car. I only had the powerful car when I needed it.
A couple of months later, I had been sick all week. I got my neighbor to drive me to the hospital while his wife kept my son. I started hallucinating on the way and scared him badly. They got me into ER where I stopped breathing. I didn’t know that until later. I had meningitis. I was extremely sick. However, I didn’t see angels or a white light. I didn’t need to. I knew.
So twice in one year, God saved my life.
Katy - May 9, 2018 5:30 pm
Thank you, Sean, for reminding us we’re not alone. It’s important to remember, but sometimes very difficult. This story did me a great deal of good today and created hope.