Quotidian Grace's post yesterday about Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian, along with petty grief in my life from my son's school and it's profoundly mean spiritied parent association leadership has drained me of energy and spirit. Oh, yeah and then there's the continuing challenge of my dad's cancer, my not being able to get up to my mom to help often enough, plus his Parkinsons, going blind, etc. etc. Yet there is good news this week too. The blessing of employment for me, in an apparently exact answer to prayer (though not the nature of work I wish for, but everything else), Praise God!! Like someone said to me once, long ago, you gotta take the sweet with the bittah...
I'm led to set down another miracle that happened to me. Yet another car miracle. And they don't stop here.
This one happened in my early 30's. I'd been away from the church for about 5 years and living quite the secular life. I had my own business doing bookkeeping and accounting for individual clients and on motion pictures in the entertainment industry.
One morning, I was driving to a client's office on Sunset Boulevard. I always drove through Trousdale Estates from Coldwater Canyon in the San Fernando Valley. It's a winding and pretty drive. Plus you miss freeway traffic and street traffic, if you leave early enough. And I always did.
I came out from the short cross on San Vicente to Sunset, past the old Hamburger Hamlet, and as I drove onto Sunset I saw an unusual action playing out in front of me. Way, way down the street, a sports car was driving at extremely high speed, back and forth, across the street. Huge plumes of smoke billowed out from under it as it careened at at least 80 m.p.h., back and forth, back and forth. I was transfixed.
My first thought, "They're filming a movie on Sunset". I looked for the road blockades always present with filming on a street like this. There weren't any. And the car was moving towards me. I'd been driving slowly down Sunset all this time, thinking that it must be a movie and I would be stopped by a blockade and police any time to wait till they got the shot. There was no movie.
This was a real car, driving a real 80 or more m.p.h. back and forth across the street. Real smoke billowing out from under it. Coming right toward me. Now I could see it was a Datsun 240Z. I pulled my, brand new happened to be, Mazda 626 to the right side of the road. There was no street close by to turn off to. I was trying to take off my seat belt and climb over to the sidewalk side of the car to get out. The car was closing on me, fast. It had stopped going back and forth across the street and had changed to a head on trajectory with me.
I saw that it was aimed right at my passenger door. I could not undo the seat belt in time. It was going to hit my door straight on. I then felt the same calm that I had felt on the freeway at 16 when my Toyota died in the 3rd lane. I knew that I had to hit the horn. But at the exactly right moment. My hand rose and poised over the horn and, like when I was 16, I experienced a slowing of time. As the 240Z was about to hit my passenger door, with me just on the other side, I knew it was time. I slammed on the horn. I can still see the man's face in the eyes of my memory. He was a man of about 60. Extremely red faced with no expression in his eyes. At the exact moment I hit the horn, his eyes opened, he looked directly at me and his hand came up on the wheel and turned it. He missed my car by maybe an inch.
I started my car up and drove to my client's buildling at 9000 Sunset Blvd. I parked and when I got out of the car, the calm left me and my legs turned to jelly. I went up to the office and started to work. It calmed me to work. I was the only one there, so I enjoyed 5 minutes of a good cry before I started to work.
The company's receptionist came in about 45 minutes later. She came into my office and said "You can't believe what I saw coming in here this morning".
"What's that, Rhonda?", I asked.
"On Sunset, there was a 240Z sitting up on top of a station wagon. An ambulance was taking a body away, all covered up. Obviously THAT guy didn't make it."
I realized that instead of crashing into me, he had crashed into an empty station wagon. I knew then as I know now that God was still watching over me, even though I was living an apostate life. Amazingly, I continued in my apostasy for another almost 20 years. (our time).
My mother told me today about a Bible study friend whose brother, a former Christian, died last week, an atheist. Or more likely, agnostic. Because you can't blame God for bad stuff if you don't believe in God, after all. My mom and her friend wondered if you get to heaven if you are a lapsed Christian. Thinking of this experience above, I lean toward God's mercy, here and hereafter. But, bottom line, I'm not really sure either. We can only have faith in this. Belief requires physical proof, and I now question belief more profoundly than faith. Proof is easy to manufacture. And lie about.
Sometimes it's all a head scratcher. Even when you know what you should believe. And have faith in what you can't believe.