“You did WHAT?” I knew I was going to be in trouble when I returned home with the police officer. My dad had left us a few years ago and we kids had to grow up fast. Mom worked two jobs to make ends meet.
“Ma’am, your son had a wreck this evening.” The policeman sat down in the chair.
“What happened?” Mom’s face blanched as she spoke.
“He came down the hill on Jackson Street and couldn’t stop for the stoplight. He had several choices. He could have hit the car coming toward him. He could have turned onto the side street and crashed into a truck. But he chose to run into the newspaper building.”
All I could do was think about what would have happened if I had hit that other car or that truck. I couldn’t talk for a while.
After the policeman left, Mom and I talked.
“Joey, I’m glad you weren’t hurt. How much damage was done to your car?”
“Mom, this is strange. I felt a hand on my shoulder as I headed toward that building, like someone was guiding me through the intersection. The grill is bent into the radiator. The head lights are broken. That’s all I could see.”
“You need to see about the brakes. Let’s get some sleep and tomorrow, when you come home from school, call Uncle Max and ask him to go with you to see about getting it fixed. I can take you to school in the morning but you’ll have to ride the bus home.”
“Thank you,” I was glad she understood how the wreck happened.
“That feeling you had might have been God’s hand guiding you through to safety. I pray for you and your brother and sisters every night.”
I went to bed that night so many years ago, thankful for a mother who prayed for her children. That car, my first, survived two more wrecks while I owned it. My brother and I felt we had lost a friend when we had to sell her. I know we aren’t supposed to think of our possessions as defining who we are but that old car still holds a spot in my memory. But my mom has a very special place in my heart. I knew she loved me and my brothers and sisters. That wreck happened over 20 years ago. Tonight, different things happened. My mother called me after we retired for the evening. She barely mumbled into the phone. I went to check on her and found her unresponsive. By the time the ambulance arrived and transported her to the hospital, she was gone.
We hurt for a while because we missed her. But we knew she sat at the feet of our Savior, and told Him about her family whom she loved so very much.