Do angels really look out for our safety? Would one keep us from going over a cliff?
I knew we were going to go over the edge of the canyon. Sitting in the back seat of the Dodge Ram Charger, I caught a fleeting glimpse out the window. My sight was filled with an impression of a steep bank, which was nothing but a jumble of large rocks and boulders with a wild, rushing, surging river at the bottom of the gorge. I could see no sign of the highway, of the shoulder of the road, or even any grassy dirt area beside the road. It was just straight down. I felt the right hand wheels of the truck leave the road. I was sure I did. We were going over. I braced for the crash.
As I did, a line from a popular country/western song floated through my thoughts. A song about someone who has so many troubles she needed the help of ten thousand angels. As I braced for the impending roll into the gorge, I said a quick, silent pray for just one angel.
We were on vacation. Our first in a lot of years. My son Denis was driving, my husband Luke was beside him in the passengers’ seat. I was in the back seat on the right side. We had left our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico three days before. We had driven straight through to Oregon, but were now taking our time so we could look at this beautiful state. None of the three of us had ever been to Oregon before. We were headed for Bend, Oregon where my sister and her family had recently moved to. They had been pleading with us to come see them and their wonderful new home.
We had crossed a lot of desert in the state and were glad to get to the mountains. We went through John Day, stopping briefly and were headed for Bend, Oregon, by way of a scenic route through the mountains.
We had been admiring the trees and more trees, wild flowers, creeks, streams, and the river. Beautiful views greeted each turn of the narrow, two lane road. Denis had opened a soda and was drinking it as he drove. He had had his license for three years now and I had never worried about his driving. He had always been careful.
One little inattentive moment was all it took. Denis took another swallow from the soda can, turning it high to get the last drop. As he did the truck veered toward the edge of the road and the canyon below. There was very little road shoulder, so in less than a second Luke and I were looking into the yawing abyss of the gorge, with the river at the bottom.
Both Luke and I instinctively yelled at our son. “Denis, look out!” “Get back on the road!”
It was at this point that I was sure the truck was going over the edge: that the wheels were already in mid-air: that the accident couldn’t be avoided.
But something happened. Denis, realizing he was too close to the edge, dropped the soda, and pulled the steering wheel hard left. I would swear that it felt as if a large hand pushed the truck to the left at the same time. It was as if the truck was shoved back onto the road.
And then we were going on down the road.
I shook and shivered with fear, and relief at the same time. We were still on the narrow highway and not at the bottom of the gorge. I yelled at Denis. “Don’t ever take your eyes of the road like that again.” After a moment I continued. “And thank you. Thank you for getting us back on the road.”
Luke spoke as he picked up the discarded soda can. “Settle down everyone. Denis, be a little more careful.”
Denis muttered something I didn’t understand. His face was very, very pale, and he had slowed the speed of the truck considerably.
Sweat still poured off me as I sat back in the seat, trying to calm down. I considered what had happened. I didn’t think I had ever been so frightened or so close to death. I wondered if we had really been as close to the edge as it seemed. Luke said that we hadn’t been, but I knew he was really shaken too. In my own mind I sure the right hand wheels had been hanging in mid-air over the canyon. Had I felt something – some force – shove the truck back over. Or was it just the motion of the truck changing direction that rapidly when Denis spun the steering wheel?
Long years ago I had quit believing in angels, or some sort of superior being. Over the pass few years I had heard a lot of people talking about how angels had helped them out of danger or turned their life around. Angels – immortal, invisible, unseen, special beings. Angels that always do incredible good. Sometimes is something as simple as pushing our truck back on the road, or it could be something that one ever realizes. That no one will ever know about. Angels that sit on our shoulders, or in our minds and direct us on what is the right, or good, or proper things to do. Angels that carry us to heaven when we die. One theory is that we may even become those same angels in the next life, if we are good in this one. It’s a pleasant thought.
Could it be – could there really be angels? Had an angel shoved our truck back onto the road? I had to consider the possibility. Certainly something had kept us safe. I didn’t believe it was just plain luck that maybe Denis had made a return to skillful driving at just the right moment. Something or someone had helped us. I was sure of it.
Somehow the near accident wouldn’t leave my mind. I kept considering the idea that we had help. I have to admit my belief in a higher being and angels has returned. At least now I don’t disbelieve.
I find myself listening to other people’s stories of similar happening. I find myself watching TV show like ‘It’s a Miracle’. Now I don’t ignore or scoff at them.
Yes – I do believe in angels now. I do believe in these special, invisible forces that help us when we most need them..