By O’Ceallaigh –
I was on my walk around our little mobile Home Park this morning when I walked past Bob’s unit. There was still the acrid odor of smoke in the air. There had been a fire there a couple of days ago and it had heavily damaged Bob’s Mobile.
By the grace of God, (I mean that, now) Bob was still up and about. It was about 0230 (2:30 AM for you Civilians) and Bob made it safely out. He wasn’t able to save much though. Not even his teeth! Mobile Homes burn fast! Seven to ten minutes, they say, to a total loss.
Bob shouldn’t be here!
The reality is, none of us should be. When we look back on our lives we can all see occasions wherein we would have been killed had it not been for some quirk of fate, or, as I like to put it, Divine Intervention. You can remember some of them in your life, can’t you?
My Dad was driving a team of horses, returning to the barn. As we left the 12 Acre Field, I had created a little nest in the hay and curled up in it sort of like a little squirrel. I was about 5 years old.
As the horses climbed the slight incline from the field to the road, rather than pulling the wagon straight out of the field they immediately turned toward the barn so that the wagon, instead of hitting the road at a ninety-degree angle, attacked it at a 45 degree angle and the wagon tilted and the entire load of loose hay rolled off, down the incline, into the barnyard and plastered itself up against a four strand barbed-wire fence!
If you have never been buried by loose hay, you may not appreciate this, but there is not much breathing going on under a ton or more of loose hay!
I heard only two things: my Dad Hollered, “Whoa!” And my older brother wailed, “Oh,oh! Poor Punk!!”
I don’t know where they got that name, but that’s what they all called me in those days!
In the meanwhile, I, as the load of hay rolled toward and up against the barbed–wire fence, I had simply rolled with it, staying on top! When I got to the fence, something just pushed me down to the ground and I slid under the bottom strand and came up on the other side standing up. The fence had caught all of the rest of the hay and I came out unscathed!
I wondered this morning if Bob’s Angel looked anything like mine.
Still dealing with the mind-set of running into my old friend Ron Green, I recalled another incident from very early in my military days.
We had arrived at Basic Training in mid-December and, since they were not inclined to begin another class until after Christmas, they told us we could go home. Well, we, foolish as we were, weren’t going to miss an opportunity like that so nearly the entire class disappeared for all points of the compass – home.
Then we had to get back.
It so happened that there was another soldier who lived quite close to me in Pennsylvania. Grant, was his name. He was returning with his 1955 Mercury. He would pick me up and two others, one from Chicago and another from – I don’t have any idea!
He picked me up at about noon (1200) on New Years Eve 1959. We drove to – ah – I have no idea, to pick up – who-ever-it-was, and then on to Chicago to get Dave. Then we drove all night. Well, Grant drove all night: we all, slumbered and slept!
At about 0600 we roused a little and discovered that we were traveling westbound on the Will Rogers Turnpike in the State of Oklahoma. The speed limit was 70 MPH, an unusual thing in 1959! In New York it was only 55! On the New York State Thruway, that super – Hi-tech “super-slab,” it was only 60!
Grant was going the speed limit. He was a very careful driver. His ’55 Mercury was spotless and he wanted to keep it that way.
For a few minutes we talked and then offered to drive to give Grant break. He declined saying he was fine. We all settled back a dozed off again.
WHAM! – Our dozing was shattered!
I sat up with eyes at half mast and said, “OK, what did we hit?”
Before I could focus on anything specific, there was another crash.
Bam! Wham! Crash!!
My eyes were open now!! I remember seeing Dave suspended in mid-air while I was floating on the other side of the car! First my shoulder hit the side window! Then my head hit the headliner! Then I was on the floor!
Then it all stopped!
The first crash had been the car hitting the end of a bridge over an arroyo, (a deep, intermittent ravine). We bounced off and went into a ‘Broad-side” slide for several hundred feet finally going up and over the 12 inch curbing, front first, still sliding sideways. There was a 10 inch tubular railing that was knocked into the arroyo approximately 100 feet deep. One of the upright supports for the rail caught the left front of the car and flipped it over 3 times, bouncing on its wheels twice. The third time, it landed on its wheels and stopped there!
We got out of the car somewhat shaken and began to inspect ourselves and the car.
Dave had a broken coccyx. Grant had a miniscule cut on one ear. There were no other injuries.
The car had the obvious damage from hitting the end of the bridge with the right front wheel, and the impact with the vertical support of the railing. But the air was still in all four tires.
There were no windows broken. There was only one small dent in the front corner of the roof.
Can you tell me how this all occurred with no damages or injuries beyond this?
Neither can I.
But this I know!
Each one of us has an angel assigned to us by a loving God. That angel is commonly called our Guardian Angel. Sometimes we keep him pretty busy.
I believe that, so long as there is still something God has for us to do, or something He has for us to learn, our angel will always be there when needed.
I’m thankful for that!
And so I will serve Him until I have completed whatever it is that He has for me to do – or learn.
And I think it’s probably the same with each of us!
Because in retrospect, We Shouldn’t Be Here!