A Datsun, A Stranger and Life


Thirty-one years ago, my family and I were camping in the Pacific Northwest. It was raining most of the weekend so it wasn’t the greatest experience for us. The ground and roads were sopping wet.

Packing up the tent and our supplies into our 1981 Datsun, my husband, 6 year old son and I left for home Sunday morning. As we drove on the road we noticed that they were a little slick. The speed limit sign showed 25 miles per hour. We were probably right at that limit.

The mountain snow was starting to melt and the creek to the left of the road was running quickly.

Suddenly, we skidded. The car rolled over on its side and half of it was on the road and half of it now lay resting on a large tree branch that protruded into the water. If it weren’t for that branch …

Being on the passenger side, the door to my side of the car was resting on the road so I was not able to get out without my husband, the driver, getting out. We unbuckled ourselves and looked back to make sure our son was okay. He was.

Suddenly we heard a man’s voice asking if we needed help. Yes! we screamed. He opened the driver’s side door and helped my husband out. The car rocked back and forth. We weren’t sure how stable it was lying half on the road and half over the creek. My son was then taken out and then I was helped out. With each movement, the car also moved.

Looking around, we noticed a Jeep-like vehicle that belonged to the stranger helping us. The man stated we needed to call a tow truck company to get the car out and he offered to take us to the closest house to do that. (This was before cell phones were in use.) My husband and I looked at each other and I agreed to go with the stranger. My son and I got in the man’s vehicle and we drove off.

I never thought about the danger of going off with a stranger. Being shaken by the accident, my concern was more along the lines of “Is everyone okay?”

We finally came to a house and called a tow truck. The stranger then drove us back to where my husband was waiting for us. As we waited for the tow truck, we assessed the damage to the car. We also assessed how fortunate we were not to have fallen into the quick-running creek.

When the tow truck came, they were able to get the car on the road but it was now shaped like an A (not that exaggerated though). It was driveable.

I looked to where the stranger and his vehicle were and he wasn’t there anymore. I don’t remember if we thanked him.

All of the conditions for tragedy were here – the rain, the slick road, the running creek. Instead we received all the blessings we could have asked for — immediate help, a house where someone was home, a driveable car.

Some would say we were lucky. I call this one of the miracles in my life.

I believe that even before the accident our Father in heaven arranged for our protection. The angels surrounded us and He let nothing touch us that would cause us harm.

Sometimes we go through things that we think are not beneficial for us because they cause deep pain with memories that won’t subside. But the Father is still there and He still sends His protecting angels. We don’t know why He allows some things to happen to some people and not to others. But in all the years I’ve trusted Him, He has never failed me.

So I will trust again that no matter what happens in my life or to those around me, things will be okay.

For I will restore health to you and I will heal you of your wounds. Jeremiah 30:17

I will not die but live, and will declare what the Lord has done. Psalm 118:17


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