He never did believe in miracles, even when they happened right in front of him.
|Miracles Do Happen
By Marilyn Mackenzie
There have been many miracles in my life, in my lifetime. Some, of course, are the every day miracles that are available to everyone. The beautiful choir of birds that sit outside my window each morning aren't singing for me. I'm convinced that they're worshipping the Creator, but I do enjoy their concerts. Those small miracles are available for each of my neighbors to hear as well. But, sadly, most of them are too hurried on work days and wouldn't consider getting up a few minutes early to enjoy a bit of God’s world before leaving for work or school. And, on weekends they choose to sleep and miss this blessing, this miracle.
Reading some of the entries for the contest
My parents had moved from Florida to Baton Rouge, La. to help my sister by baby-sitting her two girls. My son missed having grandma and grandpa nearby. So, as soon as they arrived at their motel for a visit with all their friends and us, we hopped in the car to go visit. (The motel had a pool, so it made more sense for us to visit them there than have them visit us at the house.)
The three of us were in the car – spouse (ex-spouse, now) and I in the front seat, and Derek in the back. It was a Friday afternoon, not quite rush hour time, but there was more traffic than usual. People often duck out of work early on Fridays.
We were sitting at a traffic light on a street parallel to the one where we'd find the motel. We were traveling south, and the motel was a bit farther south and to the east of us. So, we were in the left turn lane, waiting for our green arrow.
Suddenly, a truck came out of no where traveling on the street in front of us heading west. The speed limit on that street was probably 35 mph, and the truck was easily traveling 70 mph when the driver realized he had a red light. The driver slammed on his brakes, and when he did, his truck skidded and was suddenly coming straight for us. We were standing still, mind you, and we were about to be hit head on by a truck whose speed had, perhaps, slowed to about 50 mph.
The truck was a big one, a utility truck from one of the local small towns nearby. The world was suddenly going in slow motion, though, and I could see the fear in the eyes of the man driving the truck.
I yelled, "Pray everyone! We're about to be hit!" I just knew that my husband and I were about to be killed. I prayed that God would take care of our son, and asked that he would remember his grandparents’ names and the name of the motel where they were staying. I reached my hand back to my son and he squeezed it. I wanted to close my eyes, but I couldn't. I watched as a miracle happened.
It appeared that the driver of the truck was standing on the brake pedal, trying with all his might to make that truck stop. It turned and landed perpendicular to our car, about six inches from our bumper. The front of the truck hit the car sitting in the lane next to us, but the impact was nothing compared to what could have been, should have been, when the truck was coming straight at us going at least 50 mph.
I jumped from the car to see if the woman whose car had been hit was hurt. The man in the truck got out slowly, then asked if everyone in our car was all right. I told him he hadn't hit us, but had hit the lady beside us. He shouted, "That’s not possible!" He reeked of the smell of alcohol. What trouble that man would be in, driving a municipal truck under the influence of alcohol.
The man insisted that he must have hit our car. He knew he was coming straight for us. The woman beside us couldn't understand how her car was missing a headlight and was dented in the front. She knew the truck was heading for us as well.
Cell phones were owned by very few people back then, but my spouse and I were a part of an experiment being conducted by the local phone company. (We had phones that used our regular home phone number. At home and within 5 miles of our house, there was no charge to use the phone. Beyond 5 miles, our cost was 10 cents per minute anywhere in the U.S.)
I handed my phone to the woman whose car had been hit so she could call her spouse. Panic had started to set in when she realized her car had truly been hit and not ours.
Meanwhile, a fire truck and ambulance had been on their way back from a call. Both had seen the man heading for the intersection at a high rate of speed, had seen him brake and turn the truck towards us. They had been close by. When they arrived, they checked our car and were just as confused as all the other drivers around us. The driver of the truck kept mumbling, "Lady, are you sure you're not hurt? How about your kid? Are you sure I didn't hit you? How could that be?"
I told the man that a miracle had occurred and that when we all left we should get down on our knees and thank God that no one had been hurt.
The police arrived, from the same town as the truck driver. I told an officer that the man had been drinking. The officer asked for my phone number and then asked, curtly, that we get our car out of the way. He said that since we hadn't been hit and were not hurt that we were in the way. Since he hadn't been on the scene when the accident happened, he had no idea how close we came to death.
Before we left, I got my phone back from the woman next to us and handed her my business card. The officer hadn't wanted to hear about the smell of alcohol on the truck driver.
As we drove away, my spouse announced, "Don't even think about calling this a miracle. I know you. Nothing happened to us back there."
I glanced at my son and winked at him. He winked back, then reached around the car seat for my hand. He squeezed my hand. I looked at my watch and realized that only ten minutes had gone by. What a busy ten minutes they were. Time seemed to stand still. I closed my eyes, and I could see – in slow motion, it seemed – that truck heading towards us. God had certainly been with all of us that day, even the lady whose car had minor damage. No one had been hurt.
We went to the motel, and found my parents standing outside their room. My mother said, "We heard all the sirens and figured there must have been an accident on the street next to us. We prayed you weren't involved. Do you know what happened?"
Boy did we ever! My spouse gave me an angry look and walked toward the pool to look at it. He never did believe in miracles, even when they happened right in front of him. He mumbled, "time did not stand still back there, Marilyn."
Note: Eighteen months later, we received a notice to appear as witnesses in court. The man had been charged with drunk driving. On the morning we were to appear, we received a call telling us the hearing had been postponed. A few weeks later, we received another letter telling us we wouldn't have to appear, with no explanation as to why. When I inquired of the court, I was first told it was none of my business. I later learned that the truck driver plead guilty to a lessor charge, but what I didn't learn. I called the city where he worked and found out he still worked there and had not even been given a suspension. I hope he stopped drinking and driving. Somehow, I imagine that he did.