It wasn't much of a prayer, but apparently, it worked. She skidded to a stop, stood up and brushed at her jeans - while the boys in the small truck she had just fallen out of completed the left-hand turn in front of me and pulled over on the side of the road to pick her up.
My light turned green and I drove across the intersection and pulled to a stop behind them.
The boys were using the name as an expletive. They nervously shoved their long hair out of their eyes - more for the sake of doing something with their hands than trying to see. They looked like they were trying to shake themselves out of a bad dream - dumbfounded that their friend was just standing there, unhurt.
Wide-eyed, they came over to my car window. "Jesus Christ!" they said at me.
"That's right", I agreed, "Jesus Christ protected your friend - there were angels all over her!"
There was no other explanation for it. As the truck turned, the door opened and out she came - her legs straight out in front of her and her arms straight out to the sides. She glided like that across the center turn lane and two traffic lanes and came to a gentle stop just before the curb at the far corner of the intersection. By all rights, she should have rolled and scraped the skin off her bare arms, then cracked her skull on the curb. But she just stood up and walked over to her friends near my car window. Not a scratch. Her jeans didn't even look like she had been sitting on the dirty street, much less sliding on it! It was truly a miracle.
Those kids are in their 30's by now. Did the incident significantly change the paths they chose for their lives? Did they seek out the Jesus Christ they encountered that day, or continue on their way as unscathed as that girl?
And how has it affected me? Fifteen years later I still picture the little yellow truck and that girl - I can tell you what I was wearing and where I was going. And when things seem bleak and every natural prediction ends badly, I can see her flying across that intersection and know that I know that not everything comes to a natural conclusion. Sometimes, with just the simplest heartfelt prayer, there's a miracle.
Okay, let's draw the comparison. The truck is the country. The driver of the truck is young and inexperienced, thoughtlessly taking chances with the lives of the people who put their trust in him. We're in the left-hand turn lane, going way too fast.
The guy in the middle has put himself in a bad position. Although he claims to be neutral, able to side with both the friend on his left and his right, he really can't go either way without having to follow one or the other. He's totally at their mercy.
The gal on the right is in an interesting position, with two things in her favor. One: She has a door. That means she has a choice. Does she go along for the ride, or trust to Providence and bail? Two: She's a "she". Do you think those guys would have been so concerned if one of the "dudes" had taken that same angel-flight? I highly doubt it. In the first place, guys need to be in control, so even if he could SEE angels holding his arms out straight to his side, he would have "helped" them by flapping. Had he survived the event, they would have had a great laugh and headed off to find someone else to tell. (Interestingly, I imagine their expletive in that case would have been "OhMan!OhMan!OhMan!...")
What would it look like if one third of the population, mostly women, decided not to continue with this disastrous ride? What if we opened the door to other possibilities? Would the guy taking us hard left stop, get out, and realize his folly? Would the guy in the middle decide to do the RIGHT thing? Would we have to be daring? Would we get hurt? I don't know the answers, but I know what I saw, and it turned out okay for her. And I know we're going to get hurt if we don't do something different. And pray for a miracle.