A Near Miss

Hebrews 1:14

Have you ever thought about what guardian angels do when they are off duty?  I imagine mine is named Leonard. Leonard is not one of the top-tier angels, not like Gabriel or Michael, but he takes his job seriously and he is pretty good at it.  I can see Leonard, sitting at the bar after work and having a couple of cold ones with a good cigar. He looks kind of beat up, and his robe is torn.  Franklin sits down beside him and lets out a laugh. “Man, what happened to you? Rough day?” Leonard lets out a long sigh. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

Through my half-century-plus of living, I have had numerous near misses, and I am very appreciative of Leonard and his colleagues.  Yesterday, I had cause to reminisce over those occasions.  Some of those near misses came early in life.  My father was told by medical professionals he would never be able to have children, and if, by some miracle, he did, they would most likely have serious birth-defects. Some of my closest friends just realized, “Ah. That explains a lot.” To the contrary, my siblings and I are all relatively healthy and past middle-age.

As a child, I remember our family having near misses.  Once we were delayed by car trouble for an out of town trip. Once we were on our way, we encountered a terrible accident in a remote area.  It had just happened, and we were first on the scene.  One man was in particular danger. Realizing how long it would take an ambulance to arrive, my dad had us wait by the wreck to comfort the other un-harmed passengers until help arrived. He loaded the badly injured man in the back seat of the car and whisked him off to the hospital, likely saving his life. I’ll never forget when he returned, and we kids sat in the now-blood-stained back seat.  We were all silent. After a very long time, my father said, “If we had gotten away on time, that likely would have been us.”

On another occasion, my father had gone for late-night coyote hunting with a buddy. From my bedroom window, I could see the headlights as he pulled into the drive.  He sat in the car for a minute, then suddenly, he left again and in a huge hurry.  A couple of hours later, he returned.  He was now on crutches!  As the family met him at the front door, bewildered and shocked, he explained.  He was unloading his gun when it discharged into his leg.  He drove himself 40 miles to the hospital emergency room in Pecos, where the doctor removed the bullet and patched him up.  He brought the slug back as a souvenir.  When we voiced how remarkable it was that nothing worse happened, he chuckled. “The doctor thought so too.  He said, ‘Preacher, if that had gone in your belly, we would never have found it!'”

One of my father’s favorite tales was how he got rear-ended at a red-light. In his eyes, it was a miracle, because no one was hurt, and he had a revival meeting coming up, for which he needed a new suit. The insurance money promptly funded the purchase, and he received a nice love offering from the other church.

Time after time, too many to mention here, I and members of my family emerged unscathed from potentially deadly situations.  A friend reminded me of the lyrics to the 1984 Amy Grant song, “Angels.”

God only knows the times my life was threatened just today.
A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way.
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown,
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home.
But I know they’re all around me all day and through the night.
When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight
To keep my fight from falling, I’ll never turn away.
If you’re asking what’s protecting me then you’re gonna hear me say:

Got his angels watching over me, every move I make,
Angles watching over me!
Angels watching over me, every step I take,
Angels watching over me

I believe God’s servants are especially vulnerable because there is a true enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. That enemy specifically targets those with potential to thwart his evil plans.

Yesterday, on my way to work, Leonard was called to duty.  I was on the road I have traveled hundreds of times, with a bite of breakfast burrito in my mouth. I saw a dark shadow in my left periphery.  With a loud bang, my windshield instantly shattered. I had no idea what had just happened. I pulled over as safely as I could and parked the car.  I looked around for the other car…nothing.  Another lady pulled up behind me and got out to see it I was alright.  “I saw the whole thing!” She exclaimed.  I said, “What was it?”  She said, “A deer!” as she pointed to the carcass in the median about a quarter mile back.  Upon closer examination, I had my explanation.  As you can clearly see from the picture below, the deer had been drinking. Let that be a lesson kids, and thanks again, Leonard.

windshield deer

Published in: on November 8, 2017 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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