Tonight coming home from a church meeting, along a dark stretch of road in an outlying area, my headlights appeared on the backs of two silhouettes walking in the middle of my lane.
I’m a speed limit or under driver, but they were so close, I nearly had to stand on the brakes to get my SUV stopped. I blew the horn, and the figures didn’t budge. I bore down on the horn, and these people finally inched to the side of the road. Shaken to my core by the time I managed to stop the car, I pulled alongside them and rolled down the window.
In front of me stood two young men, hard to judge the age in the dark--maybe teens or twenties. Definitely the "I'm indestructible" age.
“Do you realize you were nearly hit?” I said trying to control my trembling voice.
“Do you understand you could have been killed walking in the middle of the lane like that?”
More silence. I’m still shaking.
“If I were your mother, I’d put you on restriction for a year. I’m not leaving here until you promise not to get in the road again.”
I don’t think very well on my feet. They thought that restriction thing was funny.
“I’m telling you, I’m not leaving until you say you won’t get in the road again.”
They exchanged glances with each other. “We promise. We promise.”
They probably said it just to get rid of me.
I don’t care. At least they’ll remember this episode if they try it again.
I later called the sheriff’s office in that county and reported their behavior.
“There must have been angels protecting us all,” I told the deputy.
“I believe it ma’am. They’ve protected me many a time,” he responded.
Made me think of “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).
Hours later when I went to bed, I still felt like a leaf in the wind thinking of how close those young men and I came to tragedy.
I tossed and turned during the night as questions presented, which I might have asked if I’d only had the presence of mind. Again, I don't think well on my feet.
Why are you so blasé about your own life that you’d take such a risk?
Do you know your life is valuable, that God has plans for you?
Do you know Him?
If not for the grace of God, we three strangers brought together in the night could be in completely different circumstances this morning.
But we’re not.
My call to the sheriff’s department precipitated a bulletin to deputies patrolling the area to watch for these young men. I hope that someone will see them and reinforce what I said.
I’m a firm believer that God doesn’t waste any experience in our lives. I don’t believe this was just random. So, I’m trying to hear what God might be saying to me through this.
I know that God wants me to pray for the two young men. I have, and I will.
God wants to save their physical lives for a reason.
Perhaps they’re at a crossroad. Perhaps their next decision will be one that changes everything--one that will put them at as much or more risk as walking in the middle of the road.
I’m praying for a bigger rescue than a sheriff’s deputy can possibly devise. I’m praying for God to rescue their souls.
When I close my eyes at night, I pray I don’t see my headlights on the backs of these fellows, and I’m thanking God for the angels that delivered us last evening.
And if I ever see these nocturnal travelers again, I have a few more things I want to discuss.