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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I came upon a one-car accident about 20 years ago.  On a very hot July afternoon, an elderly woman had lost control of her car on a remote west Texas highway (about 30 miles from the nearest community).  The vehicle had rolled several times, coming to rest in the bar ditch.  I was the fourth person to come upon the accident.  Three other men had arrived on the scene ahead of me, two of them brothers who were traveling together. 

As I approached the scene, I found the other men attending to the elderly woman.  She was out of her vehicle, seated on the ground.  She was badly shaken, with abrasions around her face and head, and bruising already evident on her arms.  I assumed there were other possible injuries that were not visible. 

The woman was clearly rattled and kept asking for her glasses.  Three of us began searching the path that the rolling car had traveled through the weeds and grass, trying to find her spectacles.  One man stayed with the woman to console her as we waited for an ambulance to arrive.  After several minutes of combing through the weeds, we found her glasses. 

As the woman put her glasses on her bloodstained face, we were all huddled around.  As she regained her visual bearings her eyes went wide.  She could now clearly see our faces.  She gasped, and chocked down a sob, then exclaimed, “Kenny!  Bobby!”  Then and only then did the two brothers, both in their forties, look closely at her face.  They, in unison, cried out, “Mrs. Smith!”

Mrs. Smith had been the Sunday School teacher for Kenny and Bobby when they were children, some 30 years earlier, in a town that was about 100 miles from the scene of the accident.  Kenny and Bobby had had no contact with Mrs. Smith since they had graduated from high school and moved on in life. 

Tears of joy and amazement began to flow (among all five of us) as the awareness of the situation began to sink in:  Mrs. Smith’s investment in the spiritual development of two young brothers some 30 years earlier had come full circle in the two “angels” being on the scene at her time of direst need.

Reminds me of the song by Alabama, “Angels Among Us.”

Reminds me, too, of all the angels that have littered my life-path.  Some have been most obvious.  Most, I am sure, unbeknownst to me.  Sure hope I've done right by them all...

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