Diane Harrington, of Milwaukie, OR, had just lost her job. Money would be tight during the coming holiday season, so she asked God to watch over her in a special way. Diane had some documents to drop off at her former employer’s office, so she drove to CopyMax to prepare them, then drove into the city to deliver everything. Pulling into a parking place, she reached into her purse to grab change for the parking meter. There was no wallet in her purse.
Oh, no. Stay calm, she told herself, taking a deep breath. The wallet had been in her purse at CopyMax, she remembered. But she needed to deliver these documents now, and without change for the meter, she was risking a $35 ticket. Just then Diane realized that it was Sunday, hence no meter charge. Whew! She hurried into the building and left the material at the office door. Then she sped back to CopyMax, hoping that someone had turned in the wallet.
“The CopyMax store is on a hillside,” Diane explains, “and its parking lot slopes down to a major traffic thoroughfare. and usually, the lot is very full. I found a spot close to CopyMax, at the top of the hill.” Diane entered the store, and immediately saw her wallet behind the counter on a table. Relief flooded her, even more strongly when she discovered that her money was still inside. Giving thanks, she put her wallet in her purse, and went out to her car. The car was not there.
This was not turning out to be a good day. Refusing to become hysterical (yet), Diane asked other shoppers if anyone had seen the car. “A Ford Contour, taupe color, parked RIGHT HERE…” No one had seen anything. “Probably stolen,” remarked one passer-by. What if the car was trashed, and her insurance didn’t cover all of it? She went back into CopyMax and phoned the police.
But while still on the phone, Diane noticed a couple hurrying into the store, their faces wreathed in smiles. “Your car is not stolen,” the man called to her. “Come out and see this.”
Diane followed them outside. They led her across the parking lot, and on and on… why were they going so far away? Suddenly, way in the distance, in the middle of another parking lot, Diane caught sight of her Ford. It looked completely undamaged. But how had it gotten all the way over here?
The couple laughed. “You had to see it to believe it!” the woman pointed out. “Your car rolled down the hill, swerved around the bank and the other cars in the lot, exited at the driveway, rolled across four lanes of traffic, then over an embankment at the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, hit a little tree and finally ended up in THAT parking lot.”
“We saw it happening, and came back here to find the owner,” the man added. Diane was stunned. All that rolling, and no collisions? No one injured, no property damaged? Except the tree… She thanked the couple and went inside the Jack-in-the-Box to find the manager and report the damaged tree.
“I’ll pay for it,” she assured him, thinking of her pinched budget, but he shook his head. “It was a little tree, just planted,” he pointed out, “and you are safe, and that’s all that matters.”
By now, a police officer had arrived and was checking the runaway car. Like the others, he shook his head in disbelief. “I can’t see any reason to give you a ticket, Ma’am,” he said. “Just be careful.”
“I will,” she assured him. She would be very careful, and before she started for home, she would take a moment to thank God. For truly, He had sent an angel to drive her car through this amazing obstacle course, had brought kind and honest people to help her, and had shielded her from both physical and financial harm. If He loved her enough to do this for her, He would surely find her the right job too.
She felt a smile coming from her toes, all the way through her spirit, as she turned the key in the ignition.
Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk is the 25th Anniversary Edition,
available now at Loyola Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.