She offered him a smoke. He thanked her. He tinkered beneath her car with a ratchet—cigarette wedged in his lips. She held the flashlight steady.

She reads the Bible every morning. She also smokes off-brand cigarettes. To a lifelong Methodist like her, the two go hand in hand.

She’s eighty-four and frail. She digs a cigarette from a carton, her daughter lights it. The doctor says she shouldn’t smoke, but the Good Lord understands.

She tells a story.

“After my husband left us,” she begins, “I was raising my kids, doing all I could to survive. He left me with eighteen bucks in our bank account—no lie.”

Then, the worst. One day, she walked into work and her boss fired her.

Instead of crying, she lost her temper. She attacked him. She threw a lunch bucket at him. She landed several good slaps to his face. Her friends pulled her away.

This woman is a regular barrel of gunpowder.

That night, she loaded her children into a station wagon and drove straight for her sister’s in South Carolina. Radio blasting. Cigarettes burning.

“I was crying,” she says. “And worried about everything, I was sick.”

Her car broke down somewhere outside Athens, Georgia. Two in the morning. An empty highway. Not a soul for miles.

Her station wagon sat in a ditch. Her children were in the backseat, asleep. She leaned against her steering wheel and the tears came.

This was rock bottom.

Her sobbing was interrupted by the sound of transfer truck brakes. A big rig pulled behind her. Earth-shaking engine. Headlights blaring.

A man stepped out of the cab and walked toward her.

“I was scared,” she says. “Here I was, a young woman, middle of nowhere, and this man comes walking up.”

He was tall. She remembers this very clearly. And older.

He asked if she needed help. She told him what had happened, using a nervous voice.

His smile put her at ease. He said, “Pop the hood, ma’am. Lemme see what I can do.”

Beneath the glow of a flashlight, he made clanking noises beneath the hood. They got along famously. He made conversation while he worked.

“You could tell he was a nice man.”

She offered him a smoke. He thanked her. He tinkered beneath her car with a ratchet—cigarette wedged in his lips. She held the flashlight steady.

“Try it now,” he finally said.


Instead of shaking the man’s greasy hand, she hugged him. Two strangers, embracing. Then, even though she didn’t mean to, she turned into a puddle and cried into his shirt.

“Oh, don’t cry,” he said. “You’re gonna be alright, sweetie. Everything’s gonna be alright.”

They parted ways. He walked to his truck. She crawled into her car. She remembers taking deep breaths, starting her engine, then straightening her hair.

But something was wrong. There were no headlights in the rear view mirror, no rumbling engine. No truck.

She stepped out of her vehicle and saw nothing but highway.

“There’s no way he could’ve made a U-turn,” she goes on. “It was too narrow of a road, and I woulda heard it if he did. He was just up and gone.”

She stood outside her car, looking, but not finding. All she found was a crushed cigarette on the pavement. The man had stepped on it before he left.

“Maybe I was going nuts.”

This makes her laugh. Laughing turns into a coughing fit.

“Where do you think he came from?” her daughter asks.

She says she doesn’t know. And how could she? Besides, it was a long time ago. But, she says that for as long as she lives she’ll never forget that man. Or what he said to her.

Everything’s going to be all right.


  1. John - March 13, 2018 6:09 am

    That shit DOES happen.

  2. Pamela McEachern - March 13, 2018 7:27 am

    Sometimes that’s all we need to hear.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  3. Delynn Roberts - March 13, 2018 8:34 am

    We never know when we are in the presence of an angel.

  4. Lucretia - March 13, 2018 10:10 am

    Thank you, Sean, for words of faith and inspiration. I needed this. I am grateful for your talent

  5. Sherry - March 13, 2018 11:24 am

    And with faith and determination, it will be all right.

  6. Jan - March 13, 2018 12:08 pm

    As another lifelong Methodist, I believe! Thank you for sharing her story in your own wonderful way.

  7. James - March 13, 2018 12:36 pm

    Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, …

  8. Dianne - March 13, 2018 12:53 pm

    Angels are sent to us by God, and this was the angel he sent her and her children that night. Thank you, Sean.

  9. Jack Quanstrum - March 13, 2018 1:01 pm


  10. Carol Houston Rothwell - March 13, 2018 1:40 pm

    Jesus,has so many way’s he uses,to reach out and help us…Even a man with a red beard & a soft spoken voice.!
    Thank you! ❤
    Love ya.?!

  11. Laura - March 13, 2018 1:52 pm

    Sean, I sat this morning reading my Bible and praying. My 93 year old Mother is declining, often confused, in pain and having more and more difficulty getting around even with her walker. She is miserable with her confusion (keeps saying she is going crazy). I pray for her every day and cry as I do, thinking of the Mother I used to have and know, and asking the Lord “What am I going to do about her?” AND THEN – You! God sent the woman in your story and angel to tell her and he sent YOU to tell me “Everything is going to be alright!” Thank you, Sean for the message you delivered!

  12. Margo - March 13, 2018 2:09 pm

    I love these stories of sudden appearances of a person with aid, without explanation. We of faith know they are heaven sent. Without doubt. Thank you Sean for reminding us of the goodness of God and His promise to be with us always.

  13. Pat - March 13, 2018 2:19 pm

    I literally got off the phone just before reading this. I was talking to an older friend whose husband has some dementia and other health issues…she was just saying to me that she didn’t know what she was going to do…
    And then you, Sean wrote this article…and then the comment from Laura about her mother! Thanks to you both, I know “Everything is going to be alright” with my friend!

  14. Helen Bullard - March 13, 2018 3:07 pm

    Another life long Methodist (no cigarettes) reads and loves your daily posts. May you day be full of blessings. Helen in Ark.

  15. Kathy Ball - March 13, 2018 3:53 pm

    Oh, my goodness! This is amazing!!!! Are you walking through my daughter’s life? You are!!!

  16. Edna B - March 13, 2018 4:54 pm

    I’ve heard of this happening before. I think it’s awesome, and I loved your story. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Edna B.

  17. Celeste Sheppard - March 13, 2018 6:53 pm

    Thank you! I love you Sean! Please don’t ever stop writing!❤️

  18. Jenny Lecka - March 13, 2018 9:22 pm

    I love that angels are all around us. God sends angels to us and for us and he sometimes uses us as angels for others. Pay attention to who God puts in your path!!! 🙂

  19. mignon croft watson - March 13, 2018 10:06 pm

    Miracles still happen because God is still in control.

  20. Wendy Franks - March 13, 2018 11:43 pm

    I have a similar story, but to shorten it…
    Back before mobile phone cameras, I asked our 2 young angels if I could make their photo. They agreed, but when I got photos back from the developer…there was nothing there except a bright glow where they’d been standing.
    Oh yes! We were in the company of angels!
    TYSM, Sean. Another beautifully written!

  21. Jackie Darnell - March 14, 2018 2:13 am

    You know how to make a human feel good. Thanks!

  22. Ted - March 14, 2018 4:48 pm

    She entertained an Angel …

  23. unkle - May 24, 2018 4:56 pm

    Maby sometimes what you need is not the Bibical “Standard Angel ” . That would scare us. A regular Joe six pack , smoking , friendly and with a knack for making motors run is what she really needed. Then the real miracle occurred when he and his big rig vanished without a trace . That story was told many times before you took the time to tell it to us . Thanks . There are lots of these stories out there . My Granpa woud have enjoyed it too. Uk

  24. Marge - February 6, 2021 3:49 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for this morning’s tears of gratitude! Several years ago I found you online and read your postings every day, first thing. You are my Angel and I am grateful ❤️


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