Our Easter Angel

Do you believe in angels? We do.

This occurred on Easter Sunday morning, 1994. I was the pastor of a small church in rural Missouri between Grain Valley and Oak Grove. As the tradition I was going to lead a Sunrise Service on the hillside behind the church followed by a church breakfast. This was also the time we were in the adoption process for our daughters who were 8 and 9. The girls could not stay overnight yet with us but they could come for day visits. They lived at a group foster home in Lamont, MO, near Warrensburg about an hour from our house.

Tammy and I had made the decision that that morning while I conducted the Sunrise Service that she and our son would make the 2-hour round trip to pick up the girls to spend Easter Sunday with us and be back in time for church. Tammy and our son left about 7:00 am just before the service started. All was fine on the way. They made it to the group home and picked up the girls who were totally excited about the Easter adventure with their future mom, dad and big brother. They were about half-way back on highway 50 when the minivan got the ominous sound of a flat tire. Tammy pulled over to change the flat. She and our son worked hard at it but could not get the lug nuts loose. Thankfully we still a CB radio in the van. She powered up the CB, keyed the mic, and called out “breaker 1-9 for roadside assistance.” Just as she did an east-bound 18-wheeler came over the rise in the highway. The driver’s eyes met Tammy’s eyes as she spoke on the radio. He never replied. He just went to the turn-around in the highway, looped around and came to the rescue. Tammy explained the situation. He assured her all would be ok and went to work changing the flat.

As a side note I was 30 miles away from Tammy and kids but at the exact time that Tammy got the flat I knew something happened. I also knew all would be well.

The truck driver did not say much. He just changed the flat, loaded the flat in the back of the van, and packed up the jack. When he was done Tammy offered him one of the breakfast sandwiches in the van. He politely turned it down. She apologized for not having any cash to offer him for his assistance. He said that was ok and headed back to his truck. While Tammy got everyone back in the van the truck pulled off. He would have to go down to the next turn around to loop back East, his original direction. Tammy was about to pull back onto the highway when the truck made his loop to head East. Their eyes met as he passed them on the opposite side of the highway. Tammy, thinking about this nice truck driver, then looked in her side-view mirror to watch the truck drive down the highway only there was no truck. It had vanished.

When Tammy and kids made it back to the church I walked up to her and asked what had happened. The event above is story she told me. We compared times on my weird feeling and the time of the flat. They were the same. She and I have never forgotten that Sunday morning. We never will. As I typed this out I still get the same chills and tears I got in 1994, 21 years ago.

Was the truck driver an angel? Tammy and I give a resounding yes! Do we believe in angels? Yes.

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