Two college students, one borrowed car running on fumes, Friday night rush hour on an unfamiliar road and God shows up…
The gas gauge of the borrowed car was reported to be “unpredictable,” but my friend, Debbie, and I were willing to take the chance. As summer students from Illinois, we were still learning our way around the area, but decided to head up the Valley Highway in Colorado to attend a Bible study at the home of some new friends. Bible studies were also something new in my life that summer, and I was eager to check it out.
As you might have guessed, we were running late. Alas, we had also underestimated travel time. No smart phones and GPS to fill us in on exactly how long the trip would take. One thing for sure, it was more time than we had available.
Barreling along with the flow of Friday evening rush hour traffic, I was behind the wheel, and we were making up time and when it happened. Acceleration slipped into a chug, and our speed went from 70 to 20 in what seemed like a few seconds. Trapped in the far-left lane, we hardly had time to pray.
“We must be out of gas!” I remember shouting, “What do we do now?” In what seemed like an instant, the congested road lanes miraculously opened up, and we nearly slid onto the shoulder, scared, but safe.
We both spontaneously yelled out a quick “thank you” prayer, then wondered what to do next. A cell phone might have helped, but who would we have called? Our best hope was someone from the highway patrol would show up.
A glance in the rearview mirror let us know that a car had indeed pulled up behind us, and the driver was heading our way. He wasn’t wearing a uniform, but in his hand he carried a gas can.
Without saying a word, he walked right to our gas tank. Who was this guy? How did he know we were out of gas? Too stunned to get out of the car, as well as aware of the traffic whizzing by, we watched him steadily empty his can.
Before we could say thank you or even goodbye, he was back in his car and seemed to vanish. We did not see him re-enter the traffic, but couldn’t explain where he had gone. Later we realized we should have offered to pay him, but he didn’t give us that opportunity.
After a moment of stunned silence, the highway opened up again for us as we merged back on and got to the Bible study with a few minutes to spare.
We couldn’t stop talking about the story, and even now, many years later, I remember every detail as it happened. Each replaying of that evening ends with the same question. Who was he? Man or angel? I may never know that answer for sure but I do know who sent him.