ANGEL IN A THUNDERBIRD

In the North, there are not a lot of travelers or large cities to worry about so it was easy to make good time. Cruising at 100 mph is easy to do in a Thunderbird when you are the only one on the road. Everything was going fine until I hit Michigan and ran into a heavy thunderstorm. Even with the windshield wipers going at full speed it was hard to see the road and then suddenly the Highway ended and there was a Detour Sign. I followed the narrow road for a couple of miles until suddenly the rain stopped just as I pulled over a small bridge. I took out the map and realized that the road I was on was taking me into the wilderness and not back to the Highway. I would have to double back and that would blow my chances of catching the ferry. I would have to spend the night sleeping in the car again.
 
“Okay Lord, what possible good could come out of this?” I shouted in frustration, thinking no one was around to hear me. The answer was immediate and caused my heart to pound. There was a loud knocking on the top of my car and then a voice that shouted,
 
“You LOVE Jesus? I Jesus!”
 
I turned around and saw the blond-haired, blue-eyed face of a teenage boy staring at me through the back window and behind him I could see another boy of about the same age, pulling a backpack out from beneath the bridge I had just crossed. “What!” I answered, still in a state of shock.
 
“I Jesus.” he repeated while pointing to the ‘HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS’ sticker I had in the back window of my car.
 
“Your name is Jesus?” I responded, smiling to myself as I realized GOD’S sense of humor in this incident.
 
Jesus and his friend were both from France and spoke only limited English. They had started their cross-country trip in New York planning to go to California but ran out of money. They started getting homesick so decided to go to Canada to visit an Aunt in Quebec. They had seen the same Detour Sign that I had seen and had been walking for a couple of hours with no car in sight. When the thunderstorm came up they took refuge under the bridge, thinking they would be spending the night there. They were wet, hungry, and afraid of what they might find… or what might find them, sleeping out in the wilderness during the night.
 
I told them of my plans to visit my family and they said they would like to meet them as well. I said we would not make the ferry that night but could go on the first one in the morning and that was fine with them. They were just happy to be with someone who knew where he was going. As we drove back to the Highway we looked for the Detour Sign that had brought us together… but it wasn’t there.
 
We were nearly an hour late for the last ferry but I decided we might as well sleep at the loading docks so we could be the first ones in line in the morning. For that reason, I was surprised to see the ferry and a long line of cars at the dock as we drove up. I drove to the back of the line but questioned the sense of crossing at this late hour because it would be difficult to see the names of the resorts in the dark and if we couldn’t find the right resort and had to spend the night on the other side, we would not find much to eat because there were no restaurants on the Island. I considered pulling out of line to get something to eat and wait until morning to cross, but then I heard my name called and looked to see my little brother running for the car. Evidently, the ferry had mechanical problems and was delayed. My family had come across in the afternoon to do some shopping and were parked just two cars ahead of me.

My French acquaintances were about the same age as some of my sisters and so they fit in quite well with the family. We stayed until the afternoon of the following day and then I took them across the bridge to Canada. Just over the bridge, we said goodbye and they thanked me for sharing my family with them. Then Jesus asked, “You are an Angel?”
 
“No, I am not an Angel,” I said, for the third time since starting my journey.
 
“Yes, you are Angel for me.” He responded, as he picked up his backpack and started to walk away.
 
Those words stuck in my mind as I made the half days journey back to my family home in the lower peninsula of Michigan and by the time I arrived in Hudsonville, I was convinced that what all of them were seeing was not me or even an Angel, but GOD’S Love for them, through me.

This story is an excerpt from LETTING GO

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